Cryosurgery for advanced malignant melanoma of the facila skin. A case report

Marco Scala, Marco Gipponi, Paola Queirolo, Paola Mereu, Nicola Solari, Stefano Monteghirfo, Ferdinando Cafiero

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Background: Cryosurgery is safely employed for the treatment of skin precancerous and malignant lesions of the head and neck in selected patients. The case of a 101-year-old female patient with advanced malignant melanoma of the facial skin, undergoing cryosurgery, is reported in order to assess the feasibility and tolerability of the technique, as well as the biological implications of cryosurgical treatment in this specific neoplasm. Case report: A 101-year-old woman, with a large (pT4b N0 M0) cutaneous melanoma of the facial skin on the right cheek was treated at the Division of Surgical Oncology of the National Cancer Research Institute, Italy, from June to August 2003. The treatment was accomplished by means of serial cryosurgical applications which were performed within three months; the bulk of the lesion was cryotreated with a liquid nitrogen cryoprobe, while the residual disease was treated with a nitrous protoxide cryoprobe, by means of the insertion technique. The treatment was well tolerated, with a good aesthetic result, and the patient is recurrence- and distant-disease-free two years after the initial cryosurgical application. Conclusion: Cryosurgery is feasible in the treatment of head and neck melanoma, mostly for mucosal melanomas and cutaneous lesions in anatomically critical sites, as well as in high-risk surgical patients. Here, a good aesthetic result was obtained in a very elderly patient with a large cutaneous melanoma of the facial skin, avoiding skin flap transposition for tissue repair and postoperative complications (e.g., serious bleeding or postoperative pain), with a satisfactory functional and oncological outcome at two years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-156
Number of pages4
JournalIn Vivo
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006


  • Cryosurgery
  • Elderly patients
  • Melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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