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Ghost cell odontogenic carcinoma of the left maxilla
  1. Pedro Oliveira Santos1,
  2. Rafael Cabrera2,
  3. Miguel Vilares3 and
  4. Alexandra Borges1
  1. 1Radiology Department, Instituto Português de Oncologia de Lisboa Francisco Gentil, Lisboa, Portugal
  2. 2Pathology Department, Instituto Português de Oncologia de Lisboa Francisco Gentil, Lisboa, Portugal
  3. 3Head and Neck Surgery Department, Instituto Português de Oncologia de Lisboa Francisco Gentil, Lisbon, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alexandra Borges; borgalexandra{at}


We report the case of a 25-year-old man with a maxillary ghost cell odontogenic carcinoma (GCOC). The patient presented to the maxillofacial and head and neck surgery clinic with a growing lump in the left maxilla. Initial workup with CT revealed a cystic lesion in the left upper jaw with associated bone erosion and an enhancing soft-tissue component. Enucleation showed a GCOC associated with a calcifying odontogenic cyst. After the diagnosis was obtained, the patient underwent widening of the first surgical resection. GCOCs are rare odontogenic neoplasms with unspecific clinical and imaging presentation, whose definitive characterisation is based on pathology. Current treatment approaches mainly involve surgical excision, but the prognosis is highly unpredictable due to intertumoral heterogeneity. As tumour recurrences occur in 73% of cases, radical surgery with negative margins is highly recommended. Therefore, it is essential to recognise this entity to offer patients adequate management.

  • oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • radiology
  • otolaryngology / ENT
  • dentistry and oral medicine
  • head and neck cancer

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  • Contributors POS: data curation, writing of the original draft, reviewing and editing. MV: responsible for the clinical and surgical management and follow-up of the patient, provided the clinical and surgical information, critically reviewed the manuscript. RC: responsible for the pathological diagnosis, reviewed and provided the pathology slices and critically reviewed the manuscript. AB: conceptualisation, data curation, supervision, writing, reviewing and editing.

  • 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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