Historically poor outcomes have been characteristic in patients with lateral skull base malignancies. As advances in skull base surgical techniques have been made, complete resection has increasingly been achieved. This has resulted in improved survival rates and local tumor control.
The authors performed a retrospective review of 95 patients treated for lateral skull base malignancies. The mean age of the patients was 49.4 years. There were 44 females and 51 males. The mean follow-up period was 50 months. Resection was performed in all patients, and postoperative radiotherapy was undertaken in 54% of the cases. Local disease control was maintained in 73% of the patients. Tumor involvement of the facial nerve and intracranial tumor extension did not jeopardize the rate of local control.
Despite the fact that technical advances in skull base surgery have resulted in a higher incidence of complete tumor resection and improved survival rates, a respect for the poor prognosis historically associated with lateral skull base malignancies should be maintained and treatment should be appropriately aggressive.