Management options and survival in malignant melanoma of the sinonasal mucosa

Laryngoscope. 1999 Feb;109(2 Pt 1):208-11. doi: 10.1097/00005537-199902000-00007.


Objectives/methods: To determine whether surgery combined with radiotherapy confers any survival benefit on radical local excision alone in the management of mucosal malignant melanoma of the nose and sinuses.

Study design: Retrospective review.

Methods: From a cohort of 72 patients treated between 1963 and 1996 within a single unit, complete data were available for 58 individuals who were examined to determine whether there was any significant statistical difference in local control and/or survival between those receiving surgery and those receiving combined surgery and radiotherapy.

Results: There were 30 men and 28 women. Their ages ranged from 39 to 90 years (mean, 64 y). Twenty-nine patients underwent surgery alone; 23 patients underwent surgery and radiotherapy; 6 patients received surgery and chemotherapy; and 3 patients received surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Primary surgery included lateral rhinotomy (42 cases), maxillectomy (8 cases [orbital clearance in 3 cases]), craniofacial resection (3 cases), total rhinectomy (3 cases), and endoscopic clearance (2 cases). Survival ranged from 1 to 228 months with rapid patient loss due to local (and/or systemic) disease during the first 36 months, irrespective of the treatment modality. Overall 5-year actuarial survival was 28%, and overall 10-year actuarial survival 20%, with a median survival of 21 months. There was no statistical difference in local control or survival between patients receiving surgery alone and those receiving surgery and radiotherapy, irrespective of whether this treatment was given in the early part of the series (i.e., before 1983) or thereafter. The addition of chemotherapy had no impact on survival, nor did the site of the tumor, the surgical procedure, the presence of lymph node metastases or the age of the patient.

Conclusion: In this large cohort of sinonasal melanoma, overall survival was poor and did not appear to be improved by the addition of radiotherapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / mortality*
  • Melanoma / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Mucosa / radiation effects*
  • Nasal Mucosa / surgery*
  • Nose Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Nose Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome