Multidisciplinary Management of Salivary Gland Cancers

Cancer Control. 2016 Jul;23(3):242-8. doi: 10.1177/107327481602300307.


Background: Salivary carcinomas are a rare group of biologically diverse neoplasms affecting the head and neck. The wide array of different histological entities and clinical presentations has historically limited attempts to establish well-defined treatment algorithms. In general, low-risk lesions can be managed with a single treatment modality, whereas advanced lesions require a more complex, multidisciplinary approach.

Methods: The relevant literature was reviewed, focusing on diagnostic and treatment algorithms for salivary malignancies.

Results: Salivary carcinomas with high-risk features require an aggressive treatment approach with complete surgical resection, neck dissection to appropriate cervical lymph-node basins, and postoperative radiotherapy.

Conclusions: The heterogeneity of salivary neoplasms represents a unique clinical challenge. Despite the multidisciplinary management paradigm detailed in this review, outcomes for advanced disease are unsatisfactory. Future progress will likely require the addition of novel systemic therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant / methods*
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / mortality
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Survival Rate