Bone marrow metastases from small cell cancer of the head and neck

Scott T. Pierce, Michael L. Cibull, Monty S. Metcalfe, David Sloan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background. Primary small cell carcinoma of the head and neck is rare. Although the larynx is the most prevalent site of head and neck small cell carcinoma (SCC), this report will concentrate on SCC of the major salivary glands and paranasal sinuses. In all, 33 cases of paranasal sinus and 43 cases of major salivary gland SCC have been reported in the literature. Methods. We report two patients, one with submandibular gland SCC and the other with maxillary sinus SCC. A literature review of all known paranasal sinus and major salivary gland SCC with inclusion of data from these two new cases is undertaken. Discussion of all past and present cases concentrates on sites of metastasis, treatment, and survival. Results. Paranasal sinus SCCs predominantly arise from the nasal cavity, whereas the parotid gland is the primary site in three fourths of major salivary gland SCCs. One half of major salivary gland and three fourths of paranasal sinus SCCs have only local disease at presentation. Both patients in this report developed bone marrow metastases, a feature heretofore not observed in SCC from these primary sites. The patient with maxillary sinus SCC developed the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH). Conclusion. The paranasal sinus and major salivary glands are rare primary sites for SCCs. Long‐term survival with local therapy in patients with local disease can occur, but in patients with metastatic disease survival mirrors metastatic pulmonary SCC. © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-271
Number of pages6
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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