The case for primary salivary rhabdomyosarcoma

Mathew Geltzeiler, Guangheng Li, Jinu Abraham, Charles Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Rhabdomyosarcomas of the parotid and submandibular glands have the histological appearance of a skeletal muscle tumor yet can be found in tissue with no striated muscular elements. We examine the potential cell-of-origin for rhabdomyosarcoma and whether salivary tumors represent primary malignancy or metastasis. We have previously established genetically engineered mouse models of rhabdomyosarcoma. In these mice, rhabdomyosarcoma is only induced when a Pax3:Foxo1 fusion oncogene is activated with concurrent loss of p53 function (for alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma) or loss of p53 function alone (for embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma) using Cre-lox technology. These mutations are only activated under the control of promoters specific for selected cell lineages, previously thought to be myogenesis-restricted. RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry for lineage-specific promoter gene products reveal these promoters are active in wild-type mouse salivary gland. Given that mouse rhabdomyosarcoma frequently originates in the salivary glands and these myogenic-related promoters are normally expressed in salivary tissue, a high likelihood exists that the salivary gland contains a cell-of-origin of this muscle-related cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number74
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Issue numberAPR
StatePublished - 2015


  • Head and neck oncology
  • Oncogenesis
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Salivary gland
  • Salivary gland pathology
  • Sarcoma
  • Tumor biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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