(Refer to the PDQ summary on Nasopharyngeal Cancer Treatment for more information.)
Esthesioneuroblastoma (olfactory neuroblastoma) is a small round-cell tumor arising from the nasal neuroepithelium that is distinct from primitive neuroectodermal tumors.[24,25,26,27] In children, esthesioneuroblastoma is a very rare malignancy with an estimated incidence of 0.1 per 100,000 children younger than 15 years. Despite its rarity, esthesioneuroblastoma is the most common cancer of the nasal cavity in pediatric patients, accounting for 28% of all cases.[28,29] In a series of 511 patients from the SEER database, there was a slight male predominance, the mean age at presentation was 53 years, and only 8% of cases were younger than 25 years. Most patients were white (81%) and the most common tumor sites were the nasal cavity (72%) and ethmoid sinus (13%).
Most children present in the second decade of life with symptoms that include nasal obstruction, epistaxis, hyposmia, exophthalmos, or a nasopharyngeal mass, which may have local extension into the orbits, sinuses, or frontal lobe. Most patients present with advanced-stage disease (Kadish stages B and C).[28,29] Recent reports suggest that positron emission tomography-computed tomography may aid in staging the disease.
A meta-analysis of 26 studies with a total of 390 patients, largely adults with esthesioneuroblastoma, indicates that higher histopathologic grade and metastases to the cervical lymph nodes may correlate with adverse prognostic factors.
The mainstay of treatment has been surgery and radiation. Newer techniques such as endoscopic sinus surgery may offer similar short-term outcomes to open craniofacial resection.; [Level of evidence: 3iiiDii] Other techniques such as stereotactic radiosurgery and proton-beam therapy (charged-particle radiation therapy) may also play a role in the management of this tumor. Nodal metastases are seen in about 5% of patients. Routine neck dissection and nodal exploration are not indicated in the absence of clinical or radiological evidence of disease. Management of cervical lymph node metastases has been addressed in a review article.
Reports indicate the increasing use of neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with advanced-stage disease with promising results.[24,25,37,38,39]; [Level of evidence: 3iii] Chemotherapy regimens that have been used with efficacy include etoposide with ifosfamide and cisplatin; vincristine, actinomycin D, and cyclophosphamide with and without doxorubicin; ifosfamide/etoposide; cisplatin plus etoposide or doxorubicin;  and irinotecan plus docetaxel.[Level of evidence: 3iiA]