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Br J Radiol. 2017 Dec;90(1080):20170596. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20170596. Epub 2017 Oct 3.

Can sparing of the superficial contralateral parotid lobe reduce xerostomia following radiotherapy for head and neck cancer?

Author information

1
Department of Radiation Oncology, KU Leuven-University of Leuven, University Hospitals Leuven , Leuven, Belgium.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study is to see whether sparing the superficial contralateral parotid lobe can help limiting xerostomia following radiotherapy for head and neck cancer.

METHODS:

88 patients that were included in two prospective randomized studies were analysed in the current study. Using the dosimetry of both the parotid glands, we divided our patients in four groups. Group 1 includes patients where we were able to reduce the radiation dose below the threshold in order to spare both the ipsilateral and contralateral parotid glands, Group 2 consists of patients where only the contralateral parotid gland could be spared. Group 3 consists of patients where only the contralateral superficial parotid lobe could be spared, while in Group 4 not even the contralateral superficial lobe could be spared.

RESULTS:

When we compared Group 1 and Group 2, we did not observe a significant difference between both groups in terms of xerostomia scores at 6 or 12 months. When we compared these groups with Group 3, we observed significant differences with more xerostomia in Group 3 where only the contralateral superficial lobe was spared. A significant difference was also observed between Group 3 and Group 4 with more xerostomia in Group 4.

CONCLUSION:

Sparing of just one superficial parotid lobe results in less xerostomia when compared to not sparing any lobe of both parotid glands. Advances in knowledge: When sparing of the whole contralateral parotid gland is not possible, delineating both the superficial parotid glands and trying to spare at least one of them can mean a way forward in limiting xerostomia in head and neck cancer patients treated with radiotherapy.

PMID:
28972794
PMCID:
PMC6047651
DOI:
10.1259/bjr.20170596
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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