Head and neck tumors other than squamous cell carcinoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose of review: This review deals with classification and treatment of some rare nonsquamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. Recent findings: Paranasal sinus tumor classification is under evaluation. Contrary to the past, the recent tendency is to build stage classifications on prognostic factors that mainly reflect limitations for adequate surgery, and not simply on dimensional criteria, which are more frequently used in TNM. Among sinonasal tract tumors new pathologic entities have been described. So far, little is known about their natural history and about the need to use pathologic classification to differentiate treatment. Recent advances in radiotherapeutic techniques, such as intensity-modulated radiotherapy, will probably have an impact on future treatment of paranasal sinus tumors. Several molecular targets (c-kit, HER-2/neu, androgen receptors) have been identified in salivary gland cancer. It is interesting to note that among different histotypes there is a trend toward a consistent expression of specific markers in specific cancers, suggesting a possible implication of them in the disease histogenesis. Not surprisingly these findings prompted clinical research with molecular targeted drugs. Summary: Nonsquamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck are rare neoplasms. A multidisciplinary team treatment plan is needed, in particular for skull base-located tumors. Salivary gland cancer displays several molecular targets that need to be investigated further.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-241
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2004



  • Paranasal sinus tumors
  • Salivary gland cancer
  • Sinonasal tract cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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