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Salivary Gland Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Treatment Option Overview

The minimum therapy for low-grade malignancies of the superficial portion of the parotid gland is a superficial parotidectomy. For all other lesions, a total parotidectomy is often indicated. The facial nerve or its branches should be resected if involved by tumor; repair can be done simultaneously. Growing evidence suggests that postoperative radiation therapy augments surgical resection, particularly for the high-grade neoplasms, when margins are close or involved, when tumors are large, or when histologic evidence of lymph node metastases is present.[1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8] Clinical trials, which have been completed in the United States and England, indicate that fast neutron-beam radiation therapy improves disease-free survival and overall survival in patients with unresectable tumors or for patients with recurrent neoplasms.[9,10,11,12] Facilities with fast neutron-beam radiation therapy are of limited availability in the United States. Accelerated hyperfractionated photon-beam radiation therapy has also resulted in high rates of long-term local regional controls.[13,14] The use of chemotherapy for malignant salivary gland tumors remains under evaluation.[15,16,17,18,19]

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  1. Myers EN, Suen JY, eds.: Cancer of the Head and Neck. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders, 1996.
  2. Freund HR: Principles of Head and Neck Surgery. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1979.
  3. Lore JM: An Atlas of Head and Neck Surgery. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders, 1988.
  4. Million RR, Cassisi NJ, eds.: Management of Head and Neck Cancer: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott, 1994.
  5. Wang CC, ed.: Radiation Therapy for Head and Neck Neoplasms. 3rd ed. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1997.
  6. Cummings CW, Fredrickson JM, Harker LA, et al.: Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. Saint Louis, Mo: Mosby-Year Book, Inc., 1998.
  7. Garden AS, el-Naggar AK, Morrison WH, et al.: Postoperative radiotherapy for malignant tumors of the parotid gland. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 37 (1): 79-85, 1997.
  8. Chen AM, Granchi PJ, Garcia J, et al.: Local-regional recurrence after surgery without postoperative irradiation for carcinomas of the major salivary glands: implications for adjuvant therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 67 (4): 982-7, 2007.
  9. Buchholz TA, Laramore GE, Griffin BR, et al.: The role of fast neutron radiation therapy in the management of advanced salivary gland malignant neoplasms. Cancer 69 (11): 2779-88, 1992.
  10. Krüll A, Schwarz R, Engenhart R, et al.: European results in neutron therapy of malignant salivary gland tumors. Bull Cancer Radiother 83 (Suppl): 125-9s, 1996.
  11. Douglas JG, Lee S, Laramore GE, et al.: Neutron radiotherapy for the treatment of locally advanced major salivary gland tumors. Head Neck 21 (3): 255-63, 1999.
  12. Douglas JG, Laramore GE, Austin-Seymour M, et al.: Treatment of locally advanced adenoid cystic carcinoma of the head and neck with neutron radiotherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 46 (3): 551-7, 2000.
  13. Wang CC, Goodman M: Photon irradiation of unresectable carcinomas of salivary glands. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 21 (3): 569-76, 1991.
  14. Douglas JG, Koh WJ, Austin-Seymour M, et al.: Treatment of salivary gland neoplasms with fast neutron radiotherapy. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 129 (9): 944-8, 2003.
  15. Kaplan MJ, Johns ME, Cantrell RW: Chemotherapy for salivary gland cancer. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 95 (2): 165-70, 1986.
  16. Eisenberger MA: Supporting evidence for an active treatment program for advanced salivary gland carcinomas. Cancer Treat Rep 69 (3): 319-21, 1985.
  17. Spiro RH: Salivary neoplasms: overview of a 35-year experience with 2,807 patients. Head Neck Surg 8 (3): 177-84, 1986 Jan-Feb.
  18. Theriault C, Fitzpatrick PJ: Malignant parotid tumors. Prognostic factors and optimum treatment. Am J Clin Oncol 9 (6): 510-6, 1986.
  19. Licitra L, Cavina R, Grandi C, et al.: Cisplatin, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide in advanced salivary gland carcinoma. A phase II trial of 22 patients. Ann Oncol 7 (6): 640-2, 1996.
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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
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