Sinonasal neuroendocrine carcinoma: impact of differentiation status on response and outcome

Head Neck Oncol. 2011 Jul 27:3:32. doi: 10.1186/1758-3284-3-32.


Background: The impact of tumor differentiation on the behavior and response of sinonasal neuroendocrine carcinoma is unknown.

Methods: We performed a retrospective review of the patients treated for neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC) of the nasal cavity or paranasal sinuses from 1992 to 2008 at MDACC.

Results: The results of our study suggest that pathologic differentiation may not be a critical factor in the clinical management of patients with NEC of the sinonasal tract. This is in contrast to laryngeal and lung NEC for which pathological differentiation has traditionally guided clinical management.

Conclusion: Multimodality approach should be the cornerstone of treating sinonasal NEC regardless of their differentiation. Specifically, RT may provide durable local control for patients with moderately differentiated NEC if resection is not feasible or desirable, while surgical resection can benefit patients with chemo-resistant or radio-resistant disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nose Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Nose Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult