Review ArticleHead and Neck Mucosal MelanomaMendenhall, William M. MD*; Amdur, Robert J. MD*; Hinerman, Russell W. MD*; Werning, John W. MD†; Villaret, Douglas B. MD†; Mendenhall, Nancy Price MD* Author Information From the *Department of Radiation Oncology and the †Department of Otolaryngology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL. Reprints: William M. Mendenhall, MD, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Florida Health Science Center, PO Box 100385, Gainesville, FL 32610-0385. E-mail: [email protected]. American Journal of Clinical Oncology: December 2005 - Volume 28 - Issue 6 - p 626-630 doi: 10.1097/01.coc.0000170805.14058.d3 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose: The purpose of this article is to discuss the optimal treatment and outcomes for head and neck mucosal melanoma. Methods: Review the pertinent literature. Results: Head and neck mucosal melanoma is a rare entity comprising less than 1% for all Western melanomas. It usually arises in the nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, and oral cavity. The optimal treatment is surgery. The likelihood of local recurrence after resection is approximately 50%. Radiotherapy (RT) reduces the likelihood of local failure but probably does not enhance survival, which is primarily impacted by advanced T stage and the presence of regional metastases. The 5-year survival rates vary from approximately 20 to 50%. Although the median time to relapse is roughly 1 year or less, late failures are common and cause-specific survival continues to decline after 5 years. Conclusion: The optimal treatment is surgery. Postoperative RT improves local-regional control but may not impact survival. Definitive RT may occasionally cure patients with unresectable local-regional disease or at least provide long-term palliation. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.