The Role of Induction Therapy for Sinonasal Cancers

Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2023 Mar;24(3):162-169. doi: 10.1007/s11864-022-01046-z. Epub 2023 Jan 25.


The role of induction chemotherapy in sinonasal cancers is promising; however, prospective studies with higher grades of evidence are needed. With the currently available literature, the authors would advocate for the use of induction chemotherapy (IC) in locally advanced sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma (T3-T4) for organ preservation and potentially for improved survival outcomes. In sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma (SNUC), IC should be considered in all patients given its tendency for aggressive invasion and poor outcomes. In SNUC, response to IC may direct the modality of definitive treatment to follow. In responders (partial or complete), chemoradiation therapy should be strongly considered. In non-responders or in those with progression of disease, surgical therapy is favored. For esthesioneuroblastoma, surgical resection with negative margins and adjuvant radiation therapy remains the gold standard. However, IC may be considered for locally advanced disease especially with orbital invasion or in recurrent/distant disease. There is no definite indication for IC in sinonasal adenoid cystic carcinoma or sinonasal adenocarcinoma. Recommendations are summarized in Table 1.

Keywords: Esthesioneuroblastoma; Induction chemotherapy; Sinonasal adenocarcinoma; Sinonasal adenoid cystic carcinoma; Sinonasal cancer; Sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma; Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Induction Chemotherapy
  • Maxillary Sinus Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Maxillary Sinus Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Nasal Cavity / pathology
  • Nose Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Prospective Studies

Supplementary concepts

  • Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma