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Open Access Research

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

Anna Likhacheva1, David I Rosenthal2, Ehab Hanna3, Michael Kupferman4, Franco DeMonte5 and Adel K El-Naggar6*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA

2 Department of Radiation Oncology Treatment, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA

3 Department of Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA

4 Department of Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA

5 Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA

6 Department of Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA

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Head & Neck Oncology 2011, 3:32  doi:10.1186/1758-3284-3-32

Published: 27 July 2011

Abstract

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

Mutlimodality 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.

Keywords:
Neuroendocrine carcinoma; carcinoid tumor; poorly differentiated carcinoma; sinonasal tumor