Author(s): Lengyel E, Gilde K, Remenr E, Esik O
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Abstract Mucosal melanomas comprise about 1\% of all malignant melanomas and exhibit far more aggressive behaviour than that of skin melanomas: they are more inclined to metastatize into regional and distant sites or recur locally, regionally or in distant locations, resulting in a high rate of cause-specific death. Mucosal melanomas in the head and neck region account for half of all mucosal melanomas, occurring mainly in the upper respiratory tract, oral cavity and pharynx. They appear with equal gender distribution and with a peak incidence in the age range 60-80 years. In consequence of their hidden location, they are usually diagnosed in a locoregionally advanced clinical stage, with a rate of 5-48\% of regional and 4-14\% of distant dissemination. The typical therapeutic approach is surgery, postoperative irradiation and systemic therapy. Local control with either surgery or radiotherapy is frequently (60- 70\%) achieved, but the rates of local, regional and distant recurrences are high (50-90\%, 20-60\% and 30-70\%, respectively). The reported 5-year actual survival rates are poor (17-48\%), which is attributed mainly to a haematogenous dissemination. These characteristics demonstrate that identification of the precursor lesions and more effective local and systemic approaches are needed to improve the therapeutic results.
This article was published in Pathol Oncol Res
and referenced in Dermatology and Dermatologic Diseases