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May 1969

Malignant Carotid Body Tumor: Report of a Case

Author Affiliations

Rochester, NY
From the Otolaryngology Service, Martinsville General Hospital Martinsville, Va (Dr. Bestler) and the Division of Otolaryngology, University of Rochester, Medical Center, Rochester, NY (Dr. Toomey).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1969;89(5):752-755. doi:10.1001/archotol.1969.00770020754015

T HE NUMBER of malignant carotid body tumors in the existing literature can be estimated at about 30. An exact figure cannot be determined as the criteria of malignancy in this peculiar tumor are not rigid. The histologic appearance of this tumor may remain quite benign in the face of local aggressiveness and extensive distal metastases; and therefore, it is the clinical behavior of this tumor which must establish its character as to benignancy or malignancy.1

It seems to be agreed that the therapy of the malignant carotid body tumor is wholly surgical.2,3 Radiotherapy has been uniformly disappointing.

The single case presented here is that of a locally invasive and regionally metastatic malignant carotid body tumor with several additionally interesting features.

Report of a Case  This 56-year-old white woman was seen in September 1966, because of a rapidly enlarging mass in the right neck. She gave a history

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