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Malignant melanoma of nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses: report of 24 patients and literature review

  • N Clifton (a1), L Harrison (a2), P J Bradley (a1) and N S Jones (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 21 January 2011

To report our experience of the management of patients with primary sinonasal malignant melanoma, and to review the relevant medical literature.


Retrospective review examining treatment and outcomes.


Twenty-four patients were treated between 1982 and 2007. The mean age at presentation was 67.5 years. The overall five-year survival was 30 per cent; mean survival was three years and eight months.


Sinonasal malignant melanoma is associated with a poor outcome, and survival statistics have not improved over the last 40 years. Treatment should include radical surgery wherever possible. Local recurrence is common; radiotherapy may help control this but does not appear to affect overall survival. The limited evidence available suggests that endoscopic removal of sinonasal malignant melanoma is as effective as other local surgical means, but that craniofacial resection remains the ‘gold standard’ for tumours that contact or traverse the skull base. Novel biological treatments are emerging and hold promise for the future.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Mr Nicholas Clifton, Tan-Y-Bryn, Fore Street, Holbeton, Plymouth PL8 1NA, UK E-mail:
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