Is Olfactory Neuroblastoma A Serious Condition & Can It Be Reversed

An esthesioneuroblastoma, also well-known as olfactory neuroblastoma (or ONB), is a cancer of the small nerve units along with the upper cavity of the nose. These nerve units give a feeling of smell. Often, these cancers involve both the nose and the nerves and parts of the skull just over the nose within the head.

Patients in the age group of 35-70 years are most affected by this condition. ONB primarily affects males when compared to the female population. The staging of this condition is predominantly based on the tumor size on the grading of 1-4 and this is often based on the Kadish system. Stages are given as the letters A, B, C, and D

Stage A indicates that the tumor is in the nasal cavity. During stage B, the tumor progresses and grows into paranasal sinuses. Stage C is a furthermore advanced condition during which the tumor has progressed out of the paranasal sinuses. Stage D is the most advanced condition, during this stage, the tumor has spread to the distant part of the body.1

Is Olfactory Neuroblastoma A Serious Condition?

Is Olfactory Neuroblastoma A Serious Condition?

The typical symptom of olfactory neuroblastoma is having difficulty in smelling. This condition often has problems breathing difficulties and nose bleeds. Since these are symptoms that resemble conditions of several other diseases, ONB is mistaken for the most common causes.

Initial diagnosis of the neuroblastoma provides beneficial results and is curable however delay in identification of the disease leads to the slow progress of the cancerous cells and as a result, over 80 percent of the patients already have a tumor extending beyond the nose. Advanced cases often result in the loss of smell, eye impediments, earaches, vision loss, and unbearable headaches.

When the condition left untreated esthesioneuroblastoma can also be disseminated to the lymph nodes in the collar and the parotid glands. In developed situations, olfactory neuroblastoma can propagate to more portions of the neurons and several organs of the body, that includes the lungs, liver, and bones.

Complications of esthesioneuroblastoma may include leak, seizures, meningitis, and abscess only occurred in high Kadish stage patients. However, none of the complications resulted in permanent sequelae. In most cases, the symptoms progress slowly however in rare cases, it propagates rapidly and creates serious complications.  Several types of research managed to categorize ON into low-grade and high-grade lacerations according to division identifying two individual entities.2,3

Can Olfactory Neuroblastoma Be Reversed?

In patients affected with olfactory neuroblastoma, it is challenging to determine the optimal RT care. Radiation areas must comprise the growth bed and probable sites of local spread. In addition to surgery and RT, chemotherapy may recommend progress in local control and decline in the occurrence of distant metastasis, mainly in patients with unresectable cancers or in the situation of the developed condition and recurrent and metastatic lesions. The faster-growing tumors are capable of widespread metastasis.

To diagnose the severity of the condition, MRI is often recommended by the doctors. The MRI scan of the head diagnoses the abnormalities present inside the head which is a cystic mass extending from the left nasal cavity into the frontal cranial fossa, coupled with vasogenic edema at the bottom of both anterior sections.

There was minimal midline transfer to the right and slight elimination of the frontal point of the left horizontal ventricle, but not any proof of hydrocephalus (a condition in which an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) occurs within the brain) or hemorrhage. These patients were administered dexamethasone for reversal of cerebral edema and levetiracetam for seizure prophylaxis. Most patients with an esthesioneuroblastoma are cured.4,5

References:

  1. Olfactory Neuroblastoma Surgery, Symptoms and Treatment https://www.upmc.com/services/neurosurgery/brain/conditions/brain-tumors/olfactory-neuroblastoma
  2. Olfactory neuroblastoma – Genetic and Rare Diseases – NIH https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/2197/olfactory-neuroblastoma
  3. Esthesioneuroblastoma – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/esthesioneuroblastoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20351075
  4. Transcranial Resection of Olfactory Neuroblastoma https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1214702/
  5. Mixed Olfactory Neuroblastoma and Adenocarcinoma with In Situ Neuroendocrine Hyperplasia https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12105-019-01062-w

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