Melanoma of the lacrimal drainage system: A systematic review

Head Neck. 2021 Jul;43(7):2240-2252. doi: 10.1002/hed.26705. Epub 2021 Apr 12.


Melanoma of the lacrimal drainage system (LDSM) is a rare and subtle condition that is frequently misdiagnosed. In the present work, we conducted a systematic review investigating the clinical features, management, and prognosis of LDSM. A structured search, according to PRISMA criteria, was performed in April 2020 and updated in February 2021 on Pubmed, EMBASE, Cochrane, and SCOPUS. The articles found underwent a double-reviewer selection and the main data were extracted. After complete screening, 30 articles reporting 38 cases were included. The time from the first symptom to medical contact ranged from 1 month to 4 years. Surgery was the treatment proposed to all patients, with a variable extension of resection. LDSM is a rare disease that is burdened by poor prognosis. Early diagnosis is crucial, even if difficult to achieve. Surgery and radiotherapy are standardized treatments, while targeted therapy and immunotherapy are attractive prospects.

Keywords: lacrimal drainage system; lacrimal melanoma; melanoma; oncology; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Melanoma* / diagnosis
  • Melanoma* / therapy