Interpretive Handbook

Test 61219 :
MAML2 (11q21), Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma (MEC)

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) is the most common malignant salivary gland neoplasm, representing over 30% of all malignant salivary gland tumors. The diagnosis of MEC can be quite challenging due to the degree of histologic overlap with other glandular, clear cell, or oncocytic salivary gland tumors. MAML2 fusions are detectable in 80% to 85% of MEC, but not in morphologic mimics such as oncocytic cystadenoma, Warthin tumor, oncocytoma, oncocytic carcinoma, acinic cell carcinoma, and metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Supporting a diagnosis of mucoepidermoid carcinoma

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

A positive test is consistent with a diagnosis of mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC). A negative test does not rule out the diagnosis of MEC. Carcinomas such as salivary duct carcinoma, adenosquamous carcinoma, acinic cell carcinoma, and Warthin tumor are negative for the MAML2 rearrangements.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Reliable results are dependent on adequate specimen collection and processing. This test has been validated on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue; other types of fixatives are discouraged. Improper treatment of tissues, such as decalcification, may cause FISH failure. 


Clinical diagnosis and/or therapy should not be based solely on this assay. The results should be considered in conjunction with clinical information and/or additional diagnostic tests.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

0-9% rearranged cells

Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Stewart FW, Foote FW, Becker WF: Mucoepidermoid tumors of salivary glands. Ann Surg 1945;122:820-844

2. Spiro RH, Huvos AG, Berk R, Strong EW: Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of salivary gland origin. A clinicopathologic study of 367 cases. Am J Surg 1978;136:461-468

3. Seethala RR, Dacic S, Cieply K, et al: A reappraisal of the MECT1/MAML2 translocation in salivary mucoepidermoid carcinomas. Am J Surg Pathol 2010 Aug;34(8):1106-1121

4. Behboudi A, Enlund F, Winnes M, et al: Molecular classification of mucoepidermoid carcinomas-prognostic significance of the MECT1-MAML2 fusion oncogene. Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2006 May;45(5):470-481