Background: Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common subtype of malignancy found in patients with head and neck malignancy. There are other rare subtypes which are not adequately reported in medical literature. Lymphoepithelial carcinoma consists of lympho-cytic infiltration in a background of undifferentiated carcinoma. They are most often seen in salivary glands but can also be found in other structures of the head and neck region. This analysis reports the nation-wide mortality of patients diagnosed with lymphoepithelial carcinoma of the head and neck. Methods: Data were extracted from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Database from the years 2000 to 2014. Incidence-based mortality for all stages was queried and results were grouped by gender and race (Caucasian/White, African American/Black, American Indian/Alaskan native and Asian/Pacific Islander). Paired T-test was used to determine statistically significance difference between various subgroups. Results: Incidence-based mortality has been improving for African American/Black patients and has been worsening for Caucasian/White, American Indian/Alaskan native and Asian/Pacific Islander for the period of 2000 to 2014. The differences in mortality trends were statistically different (P < 0.05). The highest mortality rate per 1000 patients was seen in Asian/Pacific Islander population, followed by African American/Black, American Indian/Alaskan native and the least mortality was noted in Caucasian/White patients. When a similar analysis with linearized trend lines on gender was conducted, only African American/Black males and Asian/Pacific Islander females showed an improving trend in mortality. The sample size was a major limitation of this study (Caucasian/White – 134, African American/Black – 30, American Indian/Alaskan native – 5 and Asian/Pacific Islander – 87). Conclusion: Lymphoepithelial carcinoma is a rare subtype of head and neck malignancies whose incidence-based mortality showed a worsening trend. This study showed significant race and gender disparity amongst patients with lymphoepithelial carcinoma. Due to its rarity, this subtype warrants further study, especially with regards to its etiology, clinical course and cure rates.
- Lymphoepithelial carcinoma
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