Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma: an update

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Purpose of review

Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma is a rare and extremely malignant tumor of the paranasal sinuses. Historically, treatment outcomes have been poor. This review presents recent data on the management of sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma and examines treatment trends that may result in improved locoregional control and survival.

Recent findings

Patients who receive aggressive multimodality treatments have improved outcomes. In particular, a chemoradiotherapy regimen including concurrent platinum-based chemotherapy given preoperatively or postoperatively to patients with resectable disease seems to result in better disease-free survival. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy, although strongly advocated by some, is currently not offered by many. Although surgery seems to be an important part of the treatment for sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma, its ideal timing, either upfront or after radiotherapy, remains uncertain.


Overall, outcomes for sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma are poor. An aggressive approach using surgery, platinum-based chemotherapy, and radiation seems to offer the greatest chance for significant locoregional control and survival.

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