To assess the incidence and to review experience with the treatment of mucosal melanoma of the head and neck (MMHN) in Slovenia between 1985 and 2013.
The National Cancer Registry database and clinical records with outcome data of identified patients treated during the period 1985–2013 in Slovenia were reviewed.
In a 29-year period, 61 patients with MMHN were identified, representing 0.5 % of all head and neck malignant tumors and 42 % of all mucosal melanomas in Slovenia. 72 % originated in the sinonasal tract and were predominantly (78 %) diagnosed as a local disease. Regional metastases at diagnosis were more frequent in patients with oral/oropharyngeal primary (44 %; sinonasal MMHN 11 %, p = 0.006). Curative intent treatment was given to 48 (79 %) patients. The overall survival (OS) rates at 2 and 5 years for the whole cohort were 43 % and 18 %, respectively, and for the curative intent group 53 % and 24 %, respectively. In the latter group, multivariate analyses showed postoperative radiotherapy (PORT) to be predictive for locoregional control (LRC) (hazard ratios [HR] for surgery with PORT vs. surgery alone: 1.0 vs. 3.9, p = 0.037), whereas only the World Health Organization performance status (HR for grade 0 vs. grade 1 vs. grade >1: 1.0 ( p = 0.022) vs. 1.2 ( p = 0.640) vs. 7.7 ( p = 0.008)) significantly influenced OS.