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More than meets the eye
  1. Ailbhe White-Gibson1,2,
  2. Paul Lennon3,
  3. Esther O’Regan4 and
  4. Conrad Timon3
  1. 1 Department of Head and Neck Surgery, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2 Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, AMNCH, Tallaght Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3 Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  4. 4 Department of Histopathology, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ailbhe White-Gibson, whitegia{at}


We report an extremely rare case of a hybrid tumour of the maxillary sinus. A 51-year-old man presented with a 6-week history of nasal congestion and epiphora. Radiological imaging demonstrated a maxillary sinus tumour, with extensive local invasion. Surgical excision included maxillectomy, left eye exenteration and free flap closure. Histology of the excised specimen showed a rare hybrid tumour containing adenoid cystic carcinoma, salivary duct carcinoma, epithelial-myoepithelial carcinoma and basal cell adenoma. Hybrid tumours are very rare tumour entities which are composed of at least two distinct tumour types. Each tumour entity conforms with a defined tumour type. The tumour entities of a hybrid tumour are not separated but have an identical origin within a definite topographical area. Diagnosis and appropriate management requires high index of suspicion, pathological endeavour to look for a more aggressive accompanying tumour and adequate oncological treatment according to the highest grade of tumour.

  • ear, nose and throat/otolaryngology
  • pathology
  • head and neck cancer
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  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Contributors AW-G: literature review, case compilation and review. PL: literature review, patient follow-up and editing. EO’R: pathological assessment, interpretation and literature review. CT: surgeon and primary care-giver. Editing and review of paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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