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Volume 20, Number 2, June 2008

Primary Malignant Melanoma Arising in the Dorsum of the Tongue

Hiroshi Chikumaru,1 Yoshiro Matsui,1 Makoto Hirota,1 Yoshiaki Inayama,2 Iwai Tohnai1
1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Yokohama City University, Graduate School of Medicine, and 2Division of Anatomic and Surgical Pathology, Yokohama City University Hospital, Fukuura Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Japan

Malignant melanoma of the oral cavity is uncommon, and the tongue is a particularly rare primary site. We report a case of malignant melanoma of the tongue in a 69-year-old Japanese man, who had undergone lower lobectomy of the right lung 1 year earlier for lung squamous cell carcinoma. The patient had noticed a grey-black pedunculated nodule on the dorsum of the tongue 3 months previously. No other primaries or metastases apart from recurrences of lung squamous cell carcinoma were observed. A palliative approach was adopted comprising chemotherapy and immunotherapy for the tongue tumour, as radical surgery for recurrent lung carcinoma was considered unfeasible. The patient died of lung carcinoma 6 months after completing the therapy. The size of the lingual tumour changed very little over this period, no problems with oral intake were reported, and quality of life was maintained. This report presents details of the case and reviews relevant literature.

Key words: Immunotherapy, Melanoma, Neoplasms, multiple primary, Palliative care, Tongue

Asian J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2008;20:102-105.
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