The salivary gland cancers are uncommon neoplasms of the head and neck, which exhibit considerable pathologic, biological, and clinical diversity. Surgical resection, often with postoperative radiation, is the standard therapeutic approach, and the results after treatment vary widely depending on the tumor histology. Chemotherapy has been of only limited palliative benefit in patients with advanced disease, and there has been little exploration of its use in definitive management. Recent investigation has focused on identification of the characteristic molecular signatures and genomic alterations of the specific histologic subtypes. These efforts have suggested the potential for molecularly targeted therapies, and clinical trials exploring this approach are currently underway.
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