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What Leads To Olfactory Neuroblastoma & Can It Be Cured?

Not many neoplasms are rare to the sinonasal tract, but sinonasal homogeneous carcinoma and olfactory neuroblastoma are harmful cancers which necessitate exclusive care. Because of the rarity of these cancers, physicians are not constantly concerned about their unique medical, radiographic, microscopic anatomic, immunostaining, and molecular elements.

The region where olfactory neuroblastoma develops is separated from the central nervous system by a muscle that consists of minute pores that permit the nerves that regulate aroma (olfactory nerves) to diffuse through. Olfactory neuroblastoma is also called Esthesioneuroblastoma.

What Leads To Olfactory Neuroblastoma?

What Leads To Olfactory Neuroblastoma?

The actual factor that causing this condition is yet to be determined. In general, tumor arises through a genetic mutation that allows the normal functions of the healthy cells without responding to any symptoms to identify the cause of the disease. However, these malignant cells continue to propagate inevitably.

When it continues to multiply and grow, it eventually results in the formation of mass known as a tumor. It tends to metastasize to neck lymph nodes, and considerably a smaller probability normally to remote parts in the body. However, it accounts for fewer than 5% of cases related to Sinonasal cancer.

It primarily occurs in children and young adults between the ages group of 10-20 and older adults in the age group of 50-60. Several medical studies state that people who are exposed to hazardous chemicals or working in chemical factories have an elevated risk of acquiring this condition. Research has found that tobacco smoke is one of the leading factors of developing olfactory neuroblastoma. Doctors suggest patients avoid these harmful exposures to prevent the condition.1,2

In several cases, the average time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis of olfactory neuroblastoma varies between 5–12 months. Due to this factor, most patients demonstrate an advanced stage at the time of diagnosis. Several increased levels of questions are thus essential to attain a precise and well-timed diagnosis.

Diagnosis requires a biopsy, examined by an expert pathologist. Even though a CT is performed in preliminary assessment, and MRI is required to weigh the condition to ensure that it has not propagated to other areas in the body. Spread to other parts is rare, however, the neck should be examined by imaging as about 12-15% of patients get neck nodes related problems over time.3

Is Olfactory Neuroblastoma A Curable Condition?

Determining the optimal treatment regimen for olfactory neuroblastoma is difficult and it often depends on the location of the tumor. Treatment hinge chiefly on the anatomic level of the ailment. Most olfactory neuroblastomas have not metastasized and are treated. Therefore, local treatment is vital. Most doctors and experts agree resection is the initial treatment of preference, and several agree that postoperative irradiation with intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) must go along. However, in the current scenario, endoscopic methodologies are typically enough to resect cancer and fix at the same moment the skull base.

The role of chemotherapy for olfactory neuroblastoma provides no proven evidence. While numerous researches have employed chemotherapy, it is not evident whether it enhances the lasting improvement contrasted to surgery and radiation treatment.

Surgery followed by radiation and chemotherapy is the existing norm of treatment for olfactory neuroblastoma however this always doesn’t provide positive results, and, in some instances, there are failures noticed often with an increased possibility of death and serious side effects. Genome-based targeted therapy for relapsing and late-stage olfactory neuroblastoma is an alternative in conditions of its promising clinical reaction, and therefore ought to have an additional review in a potential medical examination.4,5


  1. What causes Olfactory neuroblastoma University of Rochester Medical Center https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=134&ContentID=88
  2. Esthesioneuroblastoma Skull Base Tumor -Health University if Utah https://healthcare.utah.edu/skull-base-tumors/esthesioneuroblastoma-tumor.php
  3. Otorhinolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery – McGovern Medical school https://med.uth.edu/orl/2012/09/07/esthesioneuroblastoma/
  4. Olfactory Neuroblastoma – National Center for advancing Translational Sciences https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/2197/olfactory-neuroblastoma/cases/22730
  5. Olfactory neuroblastoma: the long-term outcome and late toxicity of multimodal therapy including radiotherapy based on treatment planning using computed tomography https://ro-journal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13014-015-0397-5

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Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 15, 2020

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