Background: Since the introduction of endoscopic surgery, its role has been gradually extended to encompass a range of pathologies, including sinonasal tumors, facilitated by the ability to repair significant skull-base defects. However, the rarity and long natural history of malignant tumors make it difficult to accrue cohorts comparable with the established gold standard of craniofacial resection.
Methods: In this prospective cohort study, after histological confirmation and a staging imaging protocol, patients deemed suitable were offered the option of an entirely endoscopic resection as an alternative to craniofacial resection. The procedure was performed under frozen section control. The long-term follow-up protocol included both MRI and examination under anesthesia at 3- to 4-month intervals in the first 2 years and 6-month intervals thereafter.
Results: There were 49 patients, 26 men and 23 women, aged 34-88 years (mean, 60 years). Follow-up ranged from 6 to 126 months (mean, 36 months). Thirty-seven cases underwent radiotherapy and 14 cases underwent adjuvant chemotherapy. A wide range of pathologies included 15 cases of adenocarcinoma, 11 malignant melanomas, and 11 olfactory neuroblastomas. Hospital stay was a mean of 5 days, with no significant postoperative complications. Thirty-six patients are alive and well, 7 patients have residual disease, 4 patients are dead of disease, and 2 patients have died of intercurrent disease. Three patients have been subsequently converted to craniofacial resection. Overall survival was 88% at 5 years.
Conclusion: These initial results suggest that endoscopic resection may provide an alternative to craniofacial resection in selected cases of sinonasal malignancy.