Primary mucosal melanoma of the palatine tonsil: Report of a case and review of the literature

Marcela Osorio, Sami P. Moubayed, Juan Hernandez-Prera, John C. Scott, Mark L. Urken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background Mucosal melanoma of the palatine tonsil is extremely rare. Due to its poor prognosis, primary tonsillar melanoma requires prompt recognition and treatment. Methods A 62-year-old female presented with a deeply pigmented and exophytic lesion in the left tonsillar fossa. The patient underwent a partial pharyngectomy through a midline labio-mandibulotomy approach along with a left level I–V neck dissection. Reconstruction with a left radial forearm free flap and a pharyngeal constrictor advancement pharyngoplasty was performed. Results The patient remains free of disease at eight months after adjuvant proton therapy and eleven months after surgery. To our knowledge, less than thirty cases have been either reported or referenced in the literature since the early 1900′s. This report is the first in English literature to compile all reported cases of primary tonsillar melanoma. Conclusion Currently, evidence suggests that mucosal melanoma in the palatine tonsil should be treated in the same fashion as other head and neck mucosal melanomas, mindful of the high rates at which locoregional and distant metastases occur.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-504
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Mucosal melanoma
  • Oropharynx
  • Palatine tonsil
  • Primary tonsillar melanoma
  • Tonsillar melanoma


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