Short Courses and Special Courses

SC62 - Nodal Metastases in Head and Neck Lesions: Where’s the Primary?

Friday, March 23, 2018 - 8:00 am - 11:30 am
This Short Course session includes up to a half-hour break.

Session Credits:

3 CME and 3 SAMs


Bruce Wenig, MD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL
Juan C. Hernandez-Prera, MD, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL

Course Description

The presence of nodal metastatic tumor or what may appear to be metastatic tumor in the absence of a known primary cancer is a fairly frequent occurrence in head and neck cancers. Often, a diagnosis of nodal metastasis is rather straightforward. However, there are scenarios in which the diagnosis may be challenging and confounding given the absence of a known primary cancer or features simulating nodal metastasis in the presence of a benign lesion. This course will provide a detailed overview of select clinical scenarios in which the pathologist is confronted with metastatic carcinoma (or what may appear to be metastatic carcinoma) in the absence of a known primary carcinoma. In addition, the AJCC staging system for unknown primary tumors of the head and neck will be incorporated into the course discussion. The foundation of the course will be traditional light microscopic pathology, which will be integrated with the clinical information and current knowledge of the immunohistochemical and molecular diagnostic features of a variety of head and neck neoplasms.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this educational activity, the learner will be able to:

  • Explain embryology of the salivary gland and thyroid gland as it may impact on the determination of metastasis versus primary tumor.
  • Understand topographic anatomy of the head and neck as it applies to lymph nodes and drainage from specific head and neck sites, and their impact on diagnosis and determination of the primary site of origin.
  • Provide immunohistochemical/molecular biology framework for the identification of nodal metastasis of unknown primary origin with emphasis on diagnostic, therapeutic or prognostic significance.


Continuing Medical Education and Maintenance of Certification

The United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology designates this live activity for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The USCAP is approved by the American Board of Pathology (ABP) to offer Self-Assessment credits (SAMs) for the purpose of meeting the ABP requirements for Maintenance of Certification (MOC). Physicians must take and pass the post-test in order to claim SAMs credit.

Physicians can earn a maximum of 3 SAM credit hours.


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