Issue N# 5 - 2011
Metastatic melanoma to the oropharynx
Authors : Kim S, Morinière S, Beutter P, Samimi M, Rousselot C, Bakhos D. (Tours)
Ref. : Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol. 2011;132,5:237-239.
Article published in french
Downloadable PDF document french
Introduction: Metastatic mucosal melanoma to the oropharyngeal area is extremely rare. Only 0.6% to 3% of patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma will have metastases to the mucosa of the upper aerodigestive tract. Case report: A 60-year-old woman presented with a past history of dorsal melanoma and metastatic inguinal node was referred to our department for odynophagia. Physical examination revealed a mass of the right tonsil. A cervico-facial computed tomography, a magnetic resonance imagery and PET-scanner were performed and showed the tumefaction located at the right tonsil. Biopsy was performed under general anesthesia. The histological examination revealed a metastatic melanoma. After discussion a palliative treatment with chemotherapy was begun. The patient died of disseminated disease 2 months after the beginning of the chemotherapy, only 4 months after the initial diagnosis. Discussion/Conclusion: The case presentation indicates that careful examination of the head and neck should be part of the routine follow-up examination in all melanoma patients. The discovery of mucosal metastasis in head and neck indicated widespread dissemination and a poor prognosis.
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