Abstract

Nose vestibule malignancies, mainly SCCs, are considered rare neoplasms. In the present paper, we review the current state of the art concerning classification and treatment, and describe current evidence supporting a paradigm shift. In the current AJCC classification nose vestibule is considered part of nasal cavity/ethmoid. In daily clinical practice, nose vestibule lesions are often misclassified as skin primaries. This leads to an underestimation of the real incidence and to a mis-management. When nose vestibule primaries are correctly classified as nose primaries, the current AJCC TNM appears inadequate for prognostic stratification and an old staging system described 4 decades ago by Wang has been demonstrated to be more reliable in the literature and is preferred in centers with the largest volume of cases treated. The principles of Wang classification should be applied and nose vestibule acknowledged as a new distinct subsite of nose and paranasal sinuses by the AJCC/ UICC. Surgery, External Beam RadioTherapy (EBRT) and Interventional RadioTherapy (IRT, BrachyTherapy BT) are the current therapeutic options for nose vestibule (NV) SCC. Increasing evidence demonstrates that IRT, with a proper multidisciplinary approach, is at least equivalent to surgery and EBRT for treatment of the primary lesions in terms of oncological outcomes, but markedly superior in terms of cosmetic and functional results, supporting HDR (high dose rate) IRT as the new standard for the treatment of the primary lesion in these malignancies. To optimize the advantages of IRT as primary therapeutic modality we set up a new approach to the implantation phase of IRT exploiting the anatomic planes of esthetic and functional nose surgery and the potential of intensity modulated and image guided brachytherapy to avoid septal and alar perforation (anatomic implantation).