Nasopharyngeal non-intestinal-type adenocarcinoma: a case report and updated review of the literature

C. Jain, L. Caulley, K.I. Macdonald, B. Purgina, C.K. Lai, B. Esche, S. Johnson-Obaseki



Non-intestinal-type adenocarcinoma is a malignancy traditionally found in the sinonasal cavity. To our knowledge, this case is the first reported of this rare condition originating in the nasopharynx.

Case Presentation

A 67-year-old woman with nasopharyngeal non-intestinal-type adenocarcinoma, with an accompanying parapharyngeal mass received primary radiation treatment for both lesions. Her tumour subsequently persisted, with a concomitant conversion in pathology from a low- to a high-grade malignancy.


Non-intestinal-type and intestinal-type adenocarcinomas of the nasopharynx are extremely rare tumours and do not appear in the World Health Organization classification system. We review the pathophysiologic features of these malignancies and propose modifications to the current classification system.


Non-intestinal-type adenocarcinoma should be included in the differential diagnosis of nasopharyngeal masses. In our experience, this tumour in this location showed a partial response to primary radiation but later converted from a low- to a high-grade adenocarcinoma.


Non-intestinal adenocarcinoma; intestinal adenocarcinoma; sinonasal cavity; nasopharynx; disease classifications

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)