Updates in the management of sinonasal mucosal melanoma

Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018 Feb;26(1):52-57. doi: 10.1097/MOO.0000000000000428.


Purpose of review: Sinonasal mucosal melanoma (SNMM) is an aggressive cancer with a poor prognosis. Although there is significant study surrounding the treatment of sinonasal malignancies and cutaneous melanomas, the rarity of this tumor has largely precluded robust outcomes analyses. The authors of this review seek to provide an overview of the recent literature related to the treatment of SNMM with added context from our institutional experience with this disease.

Recent findings: In the surgical management of sinonasal malignancies and SNMM specifically, resection via endoscopic endonasal technique appears to offer comparable oncologic outcomes versus an open approach. The role of adjuvant therapy continues to be debated, but there is strong evidence for improved rates of local control with radiotherapy after complete resection. In the last few years, significant developments have been made in the study of systemic therapies for cutaneous melanoma. The identification of genetic mutations common to mucosal melanoma has allowed for early trials of targeted therapies, but study is ongoing.

Summary: Although the study of SNMM is largely limited to small retrospective case series, treatment continues to evolve. Until effective systemic therapies can be identified, endoscopic resection with adjuvant radiotherapy may offer the best disease-free survival with acceptably low morbidity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chemoradiotherapy / methods
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / mortality
  • Melanoma / pathology*
  • Melanoma / therapy*
  • Nasal Mucosa / pathology
  • Nasal Mucosa / surgery
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / mortality
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Analysis