Get access

The presentation and management of mandibular tumors in the pediatric population


  • This work was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., April 29–May 1, 2011.

  • The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Send correspondence to Margo McKenna Benoit, MD, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 629, Rochester, NY 14642. E-mail:



To review the presentation and management of malignant tumors of the mandible in children.

Study Design

Case series.


Children 0 to 21 years old presenting to a tertiary pediatric hospital with a diagnosis of a malignant tumor involving the mandible were included. Comparison groups included children from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database with malignant mandible tumors as well as a group of children with benign mandibular lesions from the same institution. Main outcome measures for the institutional malignant group included presentation, tumor characteristics, treatment modalities, and clinical outcome.


Sixteen patients with malignant and 183 patients with benign lesions were identified at the primary institution. The most common presentation in both groups was mandibular swelling or mass. Malignant tumors included sarcoma (n = 11), leukemia/lymphoma (n = 2), squamous cell carcinoma (n = 1), malignant spindle cell tumor (n = 1), and yolk sac tumor (n = 1). The national database identified 56 malignant cases, of which 71% were sarcomas. Thirteen patients at our institution (81%) underwent mandibulectomy and 12 were reconstructed using free tissue transfer. Eleven of the 13 (85%) were treated with adjuvant therapy. After an average follow-up of 32.8 months, seven (44%) had no evidence of disease, three (19%) were deceased, three (19%) were alive with disease, and three (19%) were lost to follow-up.


Malignant mandibular tumors in children are most often sarcomas but can include other rare lesions. Free flap reconstruction is a reasonable option for even very young children requiring extensive mandibular surgery.

Level of Evidence

4. Laryngoscope, 123:2035–2042, 2013