Olfactory Neuroblastoma

Olfactory neuroblastoma, also called esthesioneuroblastoma, is a rare cancer that develops in the upper part of the nasal cavity, from neural tissue associated with the sense of smell. Olfactory neuroblastomas is generally slow-growing, but there are cases it may progress quickly and aggressively and are capable of widespread metastasis.

If you are suffering from any cranial or brain conditions, we urge you to see our brain specialists at ONE® Brain & Spine Center® for consultation so we may help alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life. Call (949) 383-4190 to schedule an appointment.

It is still not known what alters some cells in your meninges to make them multiply out of control, leading to a meningioma tumor. Some research and evidence suggest that exposure to radiation for treatmeant of another cancer or other conditions may increase the risk of developing a meningioma.

Common symptoms of olfactory neuroblastomas include:

  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Nasal bleeding
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Headache
  • To diagnose olfactory neuroblastoma, your team of neurosurgeons at ONE® Brain & Spine Center® will perform physical examination, including health and medical history. Olfactory neuroblastoma is typically diagnosed through special imaging of the brain and paranasal sinuses. For large and highly vascular tumors, pre-operative angiography and tumor embolization may be required.

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – MRI of the brain and paranasal sinuses.
    Computerized Tomography (CT Scan)- Scans of the brain and paranasal sinuses.

    Because of the nature of olfactory neuroblastoma being aggressive, it usually requires combination of treatments including surgical removal and radiotherapy in most cases and sometimes chemotherapy. For surgical removal, endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery is the most appropriate treatment option for most olfactory neuroblastomas, which provides the best results with fewer complications. However, for very large olfactory neuroblastoma with intracranial extension, a combined cranio-facial approach may still be needed.

    Minimally Invasive Surgical Treatments

    • Endoscopic Transsphenoidal Surgery- The endoscopic transsphenoidal surgical procedure uses a light called endoscope inserted into the nostril and sphenoid sinus to access and remove tumors. The term transsphenoidal literally means “through the sphenoid sinus.”