Basal cell adenocarcinoma

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Basal cell adenocarcinoma
Diagnosis in short

Basal cell adenocarcinoma. H&E stain.

LM unencapsulated lesion with basal-like cells, tubular component - within basal component, dense hyaline stroma around tumour cells
LM DDx adenoid cystic carcinoma, basal cell adenoma - cannot be differentiated on cytology
Site salivary gland - usu. parotid gland

Signs salivary gland mass
Prevalence very rare
Prognosis good

Basal cell adenocarcinoma, abbreviated BCAC, is an uncommon malignant salivary gland tumour.

It should not be confused with basal cell carcinoma, a very common tumour of the skin.



  • Usually in the parotid gland ~90% of cases.[1]



  1. Lesion is not encapsulated - key feature.
  2. Basal-like cells:
    • Basophilic cells - key feature.
    • Usually in nests.
    • Large basophilic nucleus.
    • Minimal-to-moderate eosinophilic cytoplasm.
  3. Stromal cells.
    • Plump spindle cells without significant nuclear atypia.
      • Stromal cell nuclei width ~= diameter RBC.
    • Dense hyaline stroma.
  4. Tubular component.
    • Within basal component, may be minimal.






  • CK7 +ve (strong).
  • S100 +ve/-ve.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Muller, S.; Barnes, L. (Dec 1996). "Basal cell adenocarcinoma of the salivary glands. Report of seven cases and review of the literature.". Cancer 78 (12): 2471-7. PMID 8952553.
  2. Farrell, T.; Chang, YL. (Oct 2007). "Basal cell adenocarcinoma of minor salivary glands.". Arch Pathol Lab Med 131 (10): 1602-4. doi:10.1043/1543-2165(2007)131[1602:BCAOMS]2.0.CO;2. PMID 17922602.