Salivary duct carcinoma in situ of the parotid gland


Dr R H W Simpson, Department of Histopathology, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Barrack Road, Exeter, Devon EX2 5DW, UK. e-mail:


Aims:  To describe three cases of purely in situ salivary duct carcinoma, so as better to define the entity.

Methods and results:  Three primary tumours of the parotid gland are presented, in each case composed of cysts and ducts and lined by high nuclear grade epithelial cells. All parts of each tumour were surrounded by a myoepithelial cell rim and there was no evidence of invasion. The tumour cells expressed immunohistochemical markers seen in invasive salivary duct carcinoma of usual (high-grade) type. In two cases the androgen receptor (AR) reaction was strong, but there was no immunohistochemical expression of HER2 protein or gene amplification by in situ hybridization. In the remaining case, fewer nuclei stained for AR, but both HER2 protein and gene amplification were demonstrated.

Conclusions:  Salivary duct carcinoma in situ is morphologically similar to breast ductal carcinoma in situ and, although our cases are few, salivary duct carcinoma in situ can possibly be subdivided into luminal and non-luminal cell types, as can analogous mammary neoplasms. The present study cannot determine whether low-grade cribriform cystadenocarcinoma, architecturally similar but immunohistochemically different, is part of the spectrum of salivary duct carcinoma in situ, or whether it represents a separate entity.