Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma

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Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma
Diagnosis in short

Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma. H&E stain.

LM clusters of cohesive squamoid cells with abundant dense cytoplasm, central nuclei +/- small/indistinct nucleoli, surrounded by a prominent lymphoid component
Subtypes (considered a subtype of squamous carcinoma)
LM DDx squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, lymphoma (non-Hodgkin), medullary carcinoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma (head & neck)
Site skin and elsewhere

Associated Dx EBV infection (dependent on anatomical site)
Prevalence rare

Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma, abbreviated LELC, is a rare, poorly differentiated, malignant epithelial tumour.

It can be considered a subtype of squamous carcinoma (AKA squamous cell carcinoma);[1] however, some advocate it be considered a separate entity.[2]


It is thought to be related to nasopharyngeal carcinoma (AKA lymphoepithelioma).[3][4]


  • Common in Inuit and some Asians.[5]



  • The (macroscopic, microscopic, epidemiologic, prognostic) features of LELC are very similar to medullary carcinoma -- EBV status is one differentiator.[6]



  • Clusters of cohesive squamoid cells with:
    • Abundant dense cytoplasm.
    • Central nuclei +/- small/indistinct nucleoli.
    • Surrounded by a prominent lymphoid component - key feature.




See also


  1. URL: Accessed on: 26 May 2011.
  2. Skinner, NE.; Horowitz, RI.; Majmudar, B. (Oct 2000). "Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma of the uterine cervix.". South Med J 93 (10): 1024-7. PMID 11147469.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mayer, EK.; Beckley, I.; Winkler, MH. (Mar 2007). "Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma of the urinary bladder--diagnostic and clinical implications.". Nat Clin Pract Urol 4 (3): 167-71. doi:10.1038/ncpuro0725. PMID 17347662.
  4. 4.0 4.1 URL: Accessed on: 11 May 2011.
  5. URL: Accessed on: 11 May 2011.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Lespagnard, L.; Cochaux, P.; Larsimont, D.; Degeyter, M.; Velu, T.; Heimann, R. (Apr 1995). "Absence of Epstein-Barr virus in medullary carcinoma of the breast as demonstrated by immunophenotyping, in situ hybridization and polymerase chain reaction.". Am J Clin Pathol 103 (4): 449-52. PMID 7726142.
  7. Aoki, R.; Mitsui, H.; Harada, K.; Kawamura, T.; Shibagaki, N.; Tsukamoto, K.; Murata, S.; Shimada, S. (Apr 2010). "A case of lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma of the skin associated with Epstein-Barr virus infection.". J Am Acad Dermatol 62 (4): 681-4. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2008.07.024. PMID 20227583.
  8. Williamson, SR.; Zhang, S.; Lopez-Beltran, A.; Shah, RB.; Montironi, R.; Tan, PH.; Wang, M.; Baldridge, LA. et al. (Apr 2011). "Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma of the urinary bladder: clinicopathologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular features.". Am J Surg Pathol 35 (4): 474-83. doi:10.1097/PAS.0b013e31820f709e. PMID 21383609.