Primary sinonasal malignant melanoma: A clinicopathologic and prognostic study

December 1, 2009
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Abstract

We conducted a retrospective study to evaluate the clinicopathologic features and prognostic factors associated with primary sinonasal malignant melanoma. We reviewed the records of 10 patients-7 men and 3 women, aged 35 to 70 years (mean: 51.4)-who had been treated at our referral center over a 9-year period. The tumors were located in the nasal cavity in 7 patients and in a paranasal sinus in the other 3. Medial maxillectomy was performed in 4 patients, wide local excision in 3, and endoscopic excision in 2; the remaining patient, who had presented with a liver metastasis, received chemotherapy and palliative local radiotherapy. Two patients who presented with a neck node metastasis also underwent concurrent radical neck dissection. Follow-up ranged from 8 to 70 months (median: 25). Only 4 patients remained alive through the duration of follow-up. The 2- and 5-year survival rates were 60 and 40%, respectively. Based on the findings of our small study, we conclude that primary sinonasal malignant melanoma carries a generally poor prognosis despite aggressive treatment. The primary cause of death in our series was a distant metastasis (n = 5) despite adequate locoregional control in most cases. This finding confirms the aggressive nature of this disease. Other factors that appeared to be associated with a poor prognosis were (1) older age, (2) a primary tumor location in a paranasal sinus, (3) an advanced tumor stage, (4) an external approach to surgery, and (5) the absence of adjuvant radiotherapy.

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