Medline: 3114186

International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 13(9): 1313-1318, 1987.

The implications of improved treatment of malignant salivary gland tumors by fast neutron radiotherapy.

Catterall M, Errington RD


The conventional treatment for cancer of the salivary glands is surgery, with or without X ray therapy. In advanced tumors (Stage III and IV), local control and 5-year survival rates are less than 35%. Radical surgery severs the facial nerve in the majority of operations on parotid gland tumors. Local control of unresectable salivary gland tumors was achieved, in 74% of cases, by fast neutron therapy. From the MRC cyclotron at Hammersmith Hospital neutrons were given to 65 patients, with locally advanced or recurrent tumors, 89% of which were Stage IV. Local control and 5-year survival rates were 72% and 50%, respectively. The facial nerve was not damaged by neutron therapy. In patients with parotid gland tumors, 77% regained or maintained function. Function was lost in 14% through recurrence and 9% remained paralyzed. The results were achieved using beams from primitive machines with serious disadvantages. The results from neutrons implicate improvements for locally advanced tumors of non-epidermal origin in other sites of the body, especially with the high energy neutrons now available from modern cyclotrons.

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Rheinische Friedrich- Wilhelms- Universität Bonn
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Dr. G. Quade