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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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: September 04, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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