AffiliationDepartment of Clinical Oncology, The Christie NHS FT, Manchester
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AbstractThere is an established role for post-operative radiotherapy in the treatment of benign and malignant salivary gland tumours. For benign disease, the addition of radiotherapy improves local tumour control in cases with incomplete excision, involved surgical margins or multi-focal disease recurrence. After capsule rupture or spillage alone, surveillance should usually be advised. For malignant disease, post-operative radiotherapy is recommended for an advanced tumour stage, high-grade tumour, perineural or lympho-vascular invasion, close or positive resection margins, extra-parotid extension or lymph node involvement. The main benefit is increased loco-regional tumour control, although this may translate into a modest improvement in survival. The possible late side effects of parotid bed irradiation include skin changes, chronic otitis externa, sensorineural hearing loss, osteoradionecrosis and secondary malignancy. Severe complications are rare, but patients should be counselled carefully about the risks. Primary radiotherapy is unlikely to be curative and is reserved to cases in which resection would cause unacceptable functional or cosmetic morbidity or would likely result in subtotal resection (R2) or to patients with distant metastases to gain local tumour control. There are provisional data on the use of charged particle radiotherapy in this setting. Some patients may benefit from synchronous chemotherapy with radiotherapy, but this group is not defined, and data from comparative prospective studies are required before routine clinical use of this treatment.
CitationIndications for salivary gland radiotherapy. 2016, 78:141-7 Adv. Otorhinolaryngol
JournalAdvances in oto-rhino-laryngology