About this Research Topic
Well-differentiated NECs are typically located in the larynx and localized; surgery is usually curative. In contrast, atypical moderately differentiated NECs of the larynx are associated with high incidence of lymph node metastasis, therefore, elective neck dissection is often indicated. Medullary thyroid carcinomas have histological similarities to these tumors, and both may produce calcitonin. Poorly differentiated small cell NECs of the salivary glands appear to have a better prognosis compared to similar tumors originating at other head and neck sites, including the larynx, where nearly 90% patients develop distant metastasis. A classic example of large cell NEC is sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma, which has a 25% risk of recurrence. In this regard, large cell NECs should be distinguished from olfactory neuroblastoma and lymphoepithelioma which entail a different treatment approach. In metastatic or inoperable NETs demonstrating somatostatin receptor positivity, the use of radionuclide therapy offers a possible therapeutic option. Olfactory neuroblastomas are distinctive in comparison to neuroblastomas of other regions. Good outcome is achieved with surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Mucosal malignant melanomas can also exhibit neuroendocrine differentiation. These highly aggressive tumors present low median survival rates and a wide variety of histological appearances. Paragangliomas are highly vascularized neoplasms. Amongst all types, carotid body tumors are the most seen. Multiple tumors can be seen in familial forms of the disease. Paragangliomas are primarily treated with surgery or radiosurgery. Targeted therapy remains a promising approach for the future.
Overall, the management of neuroendocrine tumors of the head and neck presents considerable challenges due to their specific anatomical, clinical, histopathological, and molecular characteristics. In most cases, rarity entails lack of sufficient evidence in the literature.
This Research Topic will focus on the management of such neoplasms with the aim to create a platform for sharing clinical experiences and research studies. This will help in providing guidance and updates for clinicians caring for patients affected with NETs of the head and neck region.
Keywords: Neuroendocrine tumors of head and neck, Neuroendocrine carcinomas, Head and neck cancers, laryngeal carcinoid, sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma, paraganglioma, olfactory neuroblastoma
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