Intestinal-type adenocarcinoma of the sinonasal tract: an update

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Purpose of review

Intestinal-type adenocarcinoma (ITAC) is one of the most frequent sinonasal tumors, especially in European countries. The purpose of this article is to review the most recent literature, with special emphasis on biological and genetic profile and treatment guidelines.

Recent findings

Results on large series support transnasal endoscopic surgery as the technique of choice in the large majority of patients with ITAC. Adjuvant radiotherapy is recommended in advanced-stage and high-grade lesions. More robust data are required to confirm that early-stage, low-grade lesions can be treated with exclusive surgery. The efficacy of new chemotherapy and biotherapy regimens and the added value of heavy particle radiotherapy are currently under evaluation. With a 5-year overall survival ranging between 53 and 83%, which is mainly impacted by local recurrences, ITAC requires a more detailed understanding of its biology. Genetic and biological studies have identified alterations in the molecular pathways of EGFR, MET, and H-RAS which might be considered as potential targets for biotherapy.


Surgery still plays a key role in the treatment of ITAC, but multidisciplinary management is mandatory. Although further validation is needed, the role of nonsurgical treatment strategies is rising, in agreement with the progresses made in the biological profiling of the disease.

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