Outcome of surgery and post-operative radiotherapy for major salivary gland carcinoma: ten year experience from a single institute

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(19):8259-63. doi: 10.7314/apjcp.2014.15.19.8259.


Aims: To determine the clinical characteristics, pathological features, local and distant failure patterns in patients with carcinoma of major salivary glands treated with surgery and postoperative radiotherapy (PORT).

Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed 106 cases of major salivary gland tumor seen at our centre (1998-2008). Sixty five cases of major salivary gland carcinoma were selected for analysis (exclusions: benign, palliative, non-carcinomas). The patient population treated by surgery and PORT was divided into two groups: 1) Patients who underwent surgery and immediate PORT (Primary PORT); 2) Patients with recurrent carcinoma who underwent at least two surgeries and received PORT in the immediate post-operative period of the last performed surgery (Recurrent PORT). Recurrence free survival (RFS) was assessed using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: Median age was 35 years with a male: female ratio of 1.3:1. The majority of cancers were located in the parotid gland (86.2%) and the most common histology was mucoepidermoid carcinoma (43%). Thirty nine cases (60%) were primary while 26 (40%) were recurrent. Optimal surgery was performed in 59/65 patients (90.8%). 43 patients (66.2%) underwent neck dissection, of which 14 (32.5%) had nodal metastasis. Overall, 61 (93.8%) patients complied with the prescribed radiotherapy. Median dose of PORT was 60 Gy. Median follow-up was 13.1 months (range 2-70). Relapse free survival was 50.4% at 60 months. Some 12 cases (18.5%) recurred with a median time to recurrence of 16.9 months.

Conclusions: Surgery and PORT is an effective treatment for major salivary gland carcinoma with over 90% compliance and <20% recurrence. Early treatment with postoperative radiotherapy may increase the survival rate in major salivary gland carcinoma patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / mortality*
  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / therapy
  • Carcinoma, Mucoepidermoid / mortality*
  • Carcinoma, Mucoepidermoid / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Mucoepidermoid / therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality*
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / pathology
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / therapy
  • Survival Rate
  • Young Adult