Treatment of Metastatic Eyelid Carcinoma

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The aim of this study was to report management and outcomes in patients affected by eyelids carcinomas involving regional lymph nodes.


We have retrospectively analyzed the data of patients affected by eyelids carcinoma with nodal involvement. The clinical records of 10 patients with malignant eyelid carcinoma and regional nodal metastasis treated between September 2011 and March 2015 have been analyzed.


The study included 5 women and 5 men (median age 54,5 years; range 37–80 years). The most common tumor was the squamous cell carcinoma (4 cases) followed by sebaceous carcinoma (2 cases): 1 case of epidermoid carcinoma, 1 case of malignant melanoma, 1 case of Merkel carcinoma, and 1 case of basal cell carcinoma. All patients were treated by surgical resection; in 2 cases, orbital exenteration was required. The treatment of regional nodal metastasis consisted of parotidectomy and radical neck dissection followed by radiation therapy. None of the patients developed local recurrence. Three patients died: one, affected by Merkel cell carcinoma, died after 2 months because of metastatic dissemination to the lung; another one, affected by epidermoid carcinoma involving the orbit, died because of liver metastasis; the third one, affected by malignant melanoma, died because of other causes. The follow-up time ranged from 9 to 36 months (median 19.3 months).


Patients affected by advanced malignant eyelid carcinoma need to be strictly controlled because metastasis can develop at least 5 years after surgical treatment. Therapy may include a combination of local surgery, neck dissection, and radiation.

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