ecancermedicalscience

Research

Characteristics of salivary gland tumours in the United Arab Emirates

20 Oct 2015
Yasir Al Sarraj, Satish Chandrasekhar Nair, Ammar Al Siraj, Maher AlShayeb

Salivary gland tumours (SGT) are relatively rare cancers characterised by striking morphological diversity and wide variation in the global distribution of SGT incidence. Given the proximity to the head and neck structures, management of SGT has been clinically difficult.

To the best of our knowledge, there are no epidemiological studies on SGT from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC). Patient charts (N = 314) and associated pathological records were systematically reviewed between the years 1998–2014. Predominance of benign (74%) compared with malignant (26%) SGT was observed. Among the 83 malignant SGT identified, frequency was higher in males (61%) than in females (39%) and peak occurrence was in the fifth decade of life. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma was the most common type of  tumour (35%) followed by adenoid cystic carcinoma (18.1%) and acinar cell carcinoma (10.8%). A similar pattern of tumour distribution was seen in patients from GCC, Asian, and Middle Eastern countries.

This is the first report to address the distribution of salivary gland tumours in a multiethnic, multicultural population of the Gulf. The results suggest that the development of an SGT registry will help clinicians and researchers to better understand, manage, and treat this rare disease.

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