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Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)

  • Last Modified: 11/07/2014

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Stage IV Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer

Current Clinical Trials

Stage IV disease includes advanced lesions.

Standard treatment options:

  1. For maxillary sinus tumors:
    • High-dose radiation therapy is used because extension to base of skull and nasopharynx is a potential, but not absolute, contraindication to surgery. If radiation therapy is to be used alone, localized drainage of the sinus(es) must be established before initiating radiation therapy treatments.

  2. For ethmoid sinus tumors:[1-3]
    • Generally a craniofacial resection in combination with preoperative or postoperative radiation therapy.
    • Concomitant chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be considered for patients with inoperable tumors.

  3. For sphenoid sinus tumors:

  4. For nasal cavity tumors (squamous cell carcinomas):
    • Surgery alone.
    • Radiation alone.[4] Concomitant chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be considered.
    • Combined surgery and radiation therapy (postoperative radiation therapy is preferred).[4]

  5. For inverting papilloma:
    • Surgical excision.
    • Re-excision for surgery failures.
    • Radiation therapy or radical surgery may eventually be necessary.

  6. For melanomas and sarcomas:
    • Surgical excision if possible.
    • Appropriate radiation and various chemotherapy agents should be considered.

  7. For midline granuloma:
    • Radiation therapy to nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses.

  8. For nasal vestibule tumors:
    • Generally, radiation is preferred to minimize deformity. External-beam (i.e., photons or electrons) and/or interstitial implantation can be used. Surgery is reserved for salvage. Treatment of the neck should be considered.

Treatment options under clinical evaluation:

  1. For maxillary sinus tumors:
    • Superfractionated radiation therapy.[5]

  2. For maxillary sinus tumors, ethmoid sinus tumors, nasal cavity tumors, and nasal vestibule tumors:
    • Clinical trials for advanced tumors should be considered to evaluate chemotherapy preoperatively or before radiation therapy, as is adjuvant therapy after surgery or after combined modality therapy.
    • Concomitant chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be considered.

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy as employed in clinical trials has been used to shrink tumors and to render them more definitively treatable with either surgery or radiation. This chemotherapy is given prior to the other modalities; therefore, the designation of neoadjuvant is used to distinguish it from standard adjuvant therapy, which is given after or during definitive therapy with radiation or after surgery. Many drug combinations have been used in neoadjuvant chemotherapy.[6-8]

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage IV paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.

References
  1. Kraus DH, Sterman BM, Levine HL, et al.: Factors influencing survival in ethmoid sinus cancer. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 118 (4): 367-72, 1992.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  2. Cantù G, Solero CL, Mariani L, et al.: Anterior craniofacial resection for malignant ethmoid tumors--a series of 91 patients. Head Neck 21 (3): 185-91, 1999.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  3. Shah JP: Surgery of the anterior skull base for malignant tumors. Acta Otorhinolaryngol Belg 53 (3): 191-4, 1999.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  4. Hawkins RB, Wynstra JH, Pilepich MV, et al.: Carcinoma of the nasal cavity--results of primary and adjuvant radiotherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 15 (5): 1129-33, 1988.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  5. Johnson CR, Schmidt-Ullrich RK, Wazer DE: Concomitant boost technique using accelerated superfractionated radiation therapy for advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Cancer 69 (11): 2749-54, 1992.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  6. Stupp R, Weichselbaum RR, Vokes EE: Combined modality therapy of head and neck cancer. Semin Oncol 21 (3): 349-58, 1994.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  7. Al-Sarraf M: Head and neck cancer: chemotherapy concepts. Semin Oncol 15 (1): 70-85, 1988.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  8. Dimery IW, Hong WK: Overview of combined modality therapies for head and neck cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 85 (2): 95-111, 1993.  [PUBMED Abstract]