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Volume 21, Number 4, 2016

Temporal bone carcinoma: Classical prognostic variables revisited and modern clinico-pathological evidence

Elisabetta Zanoletti, Gino Marioni, Sebastiano Franchella, Sara Munari, Roberto Pareschi, Antonio Mazzoni, Alessandro Martini



Prognostic factors, rational management, and the ongoing investigations regarding temporal bone squamous cell carcinoma (TBSCC) have been critically reviewed.


TBSCC is an uncommon, aggressive malignancy. Although some progress has been made in treating this aggressive tumor, the prognosis in advanced cases remains poor.

Materials and methods

A systematic search of the literature for articles published between 2009 and October 2014 was performed using the PubMed ( electronic database.


Given the particular anatomical site of TBSCC, its prognosis is significantly influenced by any direct involvement of nearby structures. The extent of the primary tumor is generally considered one of the most important prognostic factors and it is frequently related to prognosis even more strongly than N stage. For TBSCC, biomarker investigations in surgical specimens are only just beginning to appear in the oncological literature.


Given the particular features of TBSCC, the sub-specialty of otologic oncology seems to be emerging as a defined area of practice involving multidisciplinary team comprising oto-neurosurgeons, head and neck surgeons, plastic surgeons, oncologists, radiotherapists, dedicated radiologists, and pathologists.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2016; 21(4) : 386-390

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