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Am J Otolaryngol. 1996 May-Jun;17(3):167-71.

Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma: a 10-year experience.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Indiana University Medical Center, Indianapolis 46202, USA.



Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma (SNUC) is a rare and aggressive malignancy of the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity. Of the few reported series, most indicate a dismal prognosis. In this report, the clinical presentation, histopathologic criteria used for diagnosis, mode of treatment, and outcome are evaluated in seven patients with SNUC.


Seven patients with SNUC treated at the University of Cincinnati between 1983 and 1993 were analyzed retrospectively.


Most of the patients presented with extensive local disease, and two patients also had cervical metastases. All except one were treated using a multimodality approach. Four of the seven patients died of disease (DOD), with a mean survival of only 11.5 months following treatment. Inability to eradicate local disease was responsible for treatment failure in all cases. Three patients have achieved short-term control of disease following combined therapy, but one is at high risk for recurrence.


SNUC was associated with an overall poor prognosis in our series despite aggressive treatment. Control of local disease was the central therapeutic consideration. Intensive multimodality therapy is recommended for all patients with SNUC.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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