Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.

Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Ameloblastic carcinoma


See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Overview



What is ameloblastic carcinoma?

What are the signs and symptoms of ameloblastic carcinoma?

What causes ameloblastic carcinoma?


How might ameloblastic carcinoma be treated?

What is the typical prognosis for people with ameloblastic carcinoma?


What is ameloblastic carcinoma?

Ameloblastic carcinoma is a rare oral cancer that commonly develops towards the back of the lower or upper jaw. The cancer can develop spontaneously or arise from a preexisting ameloblastoma.  A common early symptom is swelling.[1] The underlying cause of the cancer is not well understood. 
Last updated: 10/19/2011

What are the signs and symptoms of ameloblastic carcinoma?

Signs and symptoms of ameloblastic carcinoma vary, but may include:[1]
 
Swelling with rapid growth 
Pain 
Ulceration 
Tingling, numbness, a prickly sensation, or itching
Inability to open the mouth all the way
Last updated: 10/19/2011

What causes ameloblastic carcinoma?

Ameloblastic carcinoma occasionally arises from a preexisting ameloblastoma, but most often occurs sporadically.[1] Ameloblasts are a type of cell that are involved in the development of dental enamel. Once this job is done, the cells usually remain inactive.[2] Ameloblastic carcinoma arises when these cells abnormally start dividing and growing. Exactly what stimulates the excessive cell growth is not well understood. 
Last updated: 10/19/2011

How might ameloblastic carcinoma be treated?

Treatment of ameloblastic carcinoma often involves radical surgical resection of the tumor. In addition to surgery, adjuvant radiation and chemotherapy has been tried in individual cases.  Due to the rarity of the carcinoma data regarding the effectiveness of treatment is limited.  In general, treatment tends to be aggressive. Conservative treatments have been associated with a higher risk for cancer recurrence. Long-term, careful follow-up to screen for cancer recurrence or spread (metastasis) is important.[1]
Last updated: 10/19/2011

What is the typical prognosis for people with ameloblastic carcinoma?

A recent review estimated the 5-year survival rate for people with ameloblastic carcinoma to be around 73%. Ameloblastic carcinoma does have the potential to spread (metastasize) to distant parts of the body, such as the lung or brain. Metastasis adversely affects prognosis. The estimated 5-year survival rate for people with metastatic disease is around 21%.[1]
Last updated: 10/19/2011

References
  1. Yoon HJ, Hong SP, Lee JI, Lee SS, Hong SD. Ameloblastic carcinoma: an analysis of 6 cases with review of the literature. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2009 Dec;108(6):904-13; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19800270. Accessed 10/18/2011.
  2. Wright JT. Anatomy and development of the teeth. In: Basow, DS. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate; 2011;