Juvenile Nasopharyngeal Angiofibroma

Juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma (JNA) is a benign vascular tumor that appears in the nasal cavity. Although it is non-malignant (not cancerous), it can expand quickly and extensively. JNA can spread into a variety of compartments in the head – including the sinuses, the orbit (where the eye is located), and the brain – which can make it very difficult to treat.

  • JNA generally affects adolescent boys; very infrequently it presents in younger children or post-adolescent males; it is rarely, if ever, seen in a female.
  • Typically, once patients with JNA reach their early 20s, the disease mysteriously begins to resolve. Rarely, in some patients, the disease will continue into their 30s.
  • Surgery is the principal treatment. In cases where the entire tumor cannot be surgically removed, patients may receive medications to minimize tumor growth until the disease resolves in early adulthood.
  • JNA is extremely rare, with only about 50 new cases per year in the U.S.

How Boston Children's Hospital approaches juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma (JNA)

Due to the complexity of juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma, children with JNA are treated at Boston Children’s Hospital by an integrated multidisciplinary team to address all aspects of the disease. Your first visit and primary team will be located in Otolaryngology. However, your full treatment team will include a wide range of experts, including specialists from Interventional Radiology and hematology/oncology specialists within the Vascular Anomalies Center and the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. A neurosurgeon may also be involved.

Although we are a pediatric center, patients with JNA are monitored and treated at Boston Children’s into early adulthood until recurrence risk or the disease itself has resolved.

Our multidisciplinary team is also conducting research to determine the molecular underpinnings of JNA. We hope to someday discover what causes the disease and to determine whether targeted therapies might be used to treat JNA.