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February 1950

THE ONCOCYTE IN NASAL MUCOUS MEMBRANE: A Study of an Unusual Epithelial Cell

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology and the Tumor Clinic, University of Illinois and the National Cancer Institute.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1950;51(2):223-236. doi:10.1001/archotol.1950.00700020244008

WITH THE hope that this contribution may add in a small and perhaps indirect way to the advancement of cancer research, I call attention to the occurrence of peculiarly enlarged epithelial cells, or oncocytes, in glandular tissue (salivary glands, pancreas, thyroid gland, parathyroid, hypophysis, fallopian tubes, mucosa of the nose and larynx) and to their not yet fully confirmed occurrence in the liver, testes and stomach. They occur predominantly in persons past middle age. Their suggestive relation to the cancer cell and their availability for study and observation in surgically removed noncancerous tissues of living patients should aid in determining clinical associations and histochemical reactions. The presence of these cells have been reported also in benign tumors of human organs. Among laboratory animals they have, thus far, been noted in the dog.

The literature concerning these cells extends over a period of about fifty years. The first recorded observation was

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