Korean J Head Neck Oncol Search


Korean Journal of Head & Neck Oncology 1996;12(2):188-192.
Published online November 30, 1996.
Clinical Characteristics of Head and Neck Mucosal Melanoma
Jong Ouck Choi;Youn Sik Seok;Geon Choi;Hong Kyoun Yoo
두경부에 발생한 점막형 악성흑색종의 임상적 특성
The biological behavior of mucosal melanoma is aggressive with frequent local recurrence and distant metastasis owing to the abundantly surrounding blood vessels and lymphatics adding to the fact that diagnosis is frequently delayed due to non-specific clinical outcome. The management for mucosal melanoma of the head and neck is controversial in view of the poor prognosis. Ten cases treated over the past 10 years are reported. The average age of the patients was 54.4 years. Seven cases were localized in the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses and three cases in the oral cavity and nasopharynx. Eight patients had local tumors, one had regional lymph node metastases and one hed lung metastases. Six patients underwent surgical resection, with postoperative radiotherapy in five patients, three patients received radiotherapy and one patient received combination therapy. Recurrence occured in 80% of the patients and the median time to recurrence was 10.5months. The median survival for those who received surgical resection followed by postoperative radiation therapy was 20.8 months and 14.7 months in the radiation therapy only treated group. The author's conclusion is that mucosal melanoma is a highly aggressive disease of the upper respiratory tract in which the best treatment modality is wide surgical resection followed by postoperative radiation therapy.
Key Words: Mucosal melanoma, Head and neck malignancy, Clinical characteristics


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