Odontogenic ghost cell carcinoma

David Goldenberg, James Sciubba, Ralph P. Tufano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background. Odontogenic ghost cell carcinoma (OGCC), a malignant counterpart of the calcifying odontogenic cyst (COC), is exceedingly rare. Previous descriptions of this tumor were based on identification of malignant histologic characteristics such as infiltration, cellular pleomorphism, numerous mitoses, and necrosis concurrent with classical benign COC or its solid benign variant, the odontogenic ghost cell tumor. Methods. We present a case of a young Asian man who underwent multiple local excisions of a recurring maxillary COC. After one such excision, a rapid onset of painful swelling ensued, and the patient was referred to our institution for definitive surgery. Results. The patient underwent a right subtotal maxillectomy. Intraoperatively, a 5-cm tumor was found to be extending into the right maxillary sinus and nasal cavity. The excised tumor was diagnosed as an OGCC. The tumor was excised with clear margins, and no adjunctive radiotherapy was given. The patient was free of residual or recurrent disease 18 months after surgery. Conclusions. On the basis of this case and prior cases found in the literature, OGCCs show a spectrum of growth from slow growing locally invasive tumors to highly aggressive, rapidly growing, infiltrative tumors. Wide local excision with histologically clean margins is the recommended mode of treatment. We recommend close long-term surveillance of recurrent or long-standing benign COCs and OGCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-381
Number of pages4
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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