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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Tonsillar Small Cell Carcinoma: Potential Contribution of Human Papillomavirus

Unknown ethiology

Roger A. Fecher, Brittany A. Leader, Yash Patil, Randall Butler

USA Medical Scientist Training Program, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Am J Case Rep 2018; 19:482-485

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.908252

Available online:

Published: 2018-04-24


BACKGROUND: Extrapulmonary small cell carcinoma (SmCC) is a relatively rare clinical entity constituting only 2.5–5% of SmCCs. Recently, evidence has emerged that high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) might play an etiologic role in oropharyngeal SmCC, similar to squamous cell carcinoma.
CASE REPORT: Here, we present a case of tonsillar SmCC that presented as combined SmCC-squamous cell carcinoma in a cervical lymph node, raising the possibility that the SmCC-component represents disease progression.
CONCLUSIONS: This case lends further support to the importance of HPV in the development of oropharyngeal SmCC and suggests a mechanism of disease progression.

Keywords: Carcinoma, Small Cell, Disease Progression, Papillomavirus Infections