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Pleural malignant mesothelioma with metastatic deposition in the tongue
  1. Matthew Steward1,
  2. Catharine Pearce1,2,
  3. Manish Powari3 and
  4. Hugh Bakere1
  1. 1Respiratory Medicine, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Exeter, UK
  2. 2Respiratory Medicine, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Truro, UK
  3. 3Department of Histopathology, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Exeter, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Matthew Steward; matt.steward1{at}


A 70-year-old man with epithelioid malignant pleural mesothelioma was referred to the maxillofacial surgery department with a painful lesion on the lateral border of his tongue which interfered with swallowing. Physical examination demonstrated a 3 cm firm, non-ulcerated mass on the left lateral tongue, histologically shown to be metastatic epithelioid mesothelioma. MRI of the neck and CT scan of the thorax, abdomen and pelvis scans also demonstrated progressive local and metastatic disease. The patient was not felt to be fit for further treatment. More than 90% of oral cavity cancers are squamous cell carcinoma. All reported cases of metastasis of malignant mesothelioma to the tongue have been of the epithelioid subtype with 10 cases reported in the literature to date. Diagnosis is important as tongue lesions can significantly impact on quality of life and synchronous tongue primaries should be ruled out. Tongue lesions may herald metastases to other extrapleural locations.

  • respiratory cancer
  • cancer intervention

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  • Contributors MS contributed to original draft preparation and revision. CP contributed to original draft preparation. MP and HB contributed to conceptualisation and approval of the final manuscript. HB contributed as a supervisor.

  • 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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