Ultrastructural and immunohistochemical observations of a true malignant mixed tumor (carcinosarcoma) of the tongue


Takashi Takata, Department of Oral Pathology, Hiroshima Universtiy School of Dentistry, 1-2-3 Kasumi Minami-ku, Hiroshima, 734, Japan.


True malignant mixed tumor (TMMT) of salivary glands, with both carcinoma-tous and sarcomatous components, is exceedingly rare. We offer a case of TMMT in a 79-yr-old man, which may represent the first reported example of this unusual neoplasm arising in the tongue. The carcinomatous component was mainly of solid basaloid carcinoma with focal glandular differentiation, while the sarcomatous component was composed of pleomorphic elements such as chondrosarcoma, myxosarcoma and fibrosarcoma. Carcinoma cells at the periphery of solid nests occasionally merged into these sarcomatous elements. Immunohis-tochemically, basaloid carcinoma cells showed positive reaction for both low molecular weight cytokeratin and S-100 protein, whereas carcinoma cells lining ductal spaces were positive for a wide spectrum of keratin and EMA. The sarcomatous elements revealed the presence of vimentin and S-100 protein. Ultra-structurally, basal lamina-like material and/or mucoid precipitates often accumulated separating the tumor cells from each other singly or into a few cell group. Some sarcomatous cells assumed the myoepithelial features, such as the presence of microfilament bundles with dense bodies and pinocytotic vesicles along the cell periphery. These findings may indicate that TMMT shares a common histogenesis with pleomorphic adenoma.