Treatment at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff


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Treatment for esthesioneuroblastoma typically involves surgery and radiation. Chemotherapy is another treatment option.


Mayo Clinic's head and neck surgeons and neurosurgeons have significant experience in performing esthesioneuroblastoma operations, which are often challenging procedures. Surgical techniques vary, depending on the tumor's location, and may include:

  • Surgery to open the skull and gain access to the tumor. A craniotomy is a procedure to remove a portion of the skull in order to access the tumor. For a large tumor that's grown into delicate structures nearby, such as the eye or the brain, this procedure may offer the best outcome.
  • Minimally invasive surgery through the nose. Endoscopic surgery uses a long tube equipped with a camera (endoscope) to access a tumor. The endoscope is inserted in your nose, and special surgical tools are passed through the tube. In some cases, an incision in the mouth may be necessary to assist the endoscope.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams, such as X-rays or protons, to kill cancer cells. People with esthesioneuroblastoma often undergo radiation therapy after surgery to kill any cancer cells that might remain in the head and neck.

Radiation therapy can also be used alone or in combination with chemotherapy if esthesioneuroblastoma is too large or too advanced to be removed through surgery.

Because esthesioneuroblastoma is located near many delicate structures in your head, such as your brain and your eyes, radiation beams must be aimed precisely to focus on cancer cells and spare the healthy tissue nearby. Mayo Clinic offers many advanced forms of radiation treatment planning and delivery, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy.


Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. In people with esthesioneuroblastoma, chemotherapy can be used before surgery to shrink a larger tumor in order to make it easier to remove. In some cases, chemotherapy is combined with radiation therapy after surgery to kill any cancer cells that may remain.

Feb. 05, 2013