Lymphoepithelioma (synonym: Schminké tumor, epidermoid cancer of tonsils) is a malignant tumor arising from the epithelial reticulum of the epithelium of the pharyngeal mucosa in combination with its lymphoid elements. A feature of lymphoepithelium is the syncytial character of the epithelial component. The most common localization of lymphoepithelium is the nasopharynx and tonsils; less common lymphoepithelioma of the thymus gland and even less often - the respiratory tract, thyroid, parathyroid glands and urinary tract.
Lymphoepitheliomas occur predominantly in males between the ages of 30 and 60, have the appearance of a polyp hanging from the nasopharyngeal localization to the paranasal sinuses; such a polyp easily ulcerates and bleeds. Metastasizes lymphoepithelioma in the lymph nodes of the neck, lungs, pleura, liver, peritoneum; has infiltrating growth, with the germination of large vessels of the neck can cause massive bleeding. Histologically, the epithelial component is represented by large, bright cells with an achromatic vesicular nucleus with nucleoli. The cytoplasmic processes of epithelial cells, in contact with each other, form a reticulum, in the loops of which are located lymphoid elements. The epithelial reticulum of the lymphoepithelium differs from the mesenchymal reticulum by the reticulosarcoma with the ability to produce glandular structures and cellular groups that are released from the general syncytium. Among these cell groupings, flat cells sometimes appear with keratinization.
The clinical symptoms of lymphoepithelioma are determined by its localization. In pharyngeal lymphoepithelioma, one of the tonsils is enlarged, sore throat, difficulty in swallowing; with nasopharyngeal - hearing is reduced, breathing is difficult; with lymphoepithelioma in the thymus gland, symptoms of a mediastinal tumor are detected. Disease duration - from 1.5 to 2 years. The forecast depends on localization.
In lymphoepithelioma nasopharynx more malignant course.
Most lymphoepithelium are highly sensitive to radiation therapy, therefore radio and roentgenotherapy is indicated.