Background: We report long-term outcomes of patients treated with primary radiotherapy (RT) or surgery and adjuvant RT for salivary gland malignancies.
Materials and methods: From 1964 to 2012, 291 patients received primary RT (n = 67) or RT combined with surgery (n = 224).
Results: The 5-, 10-, and 15-year local control, local-regional control, distant metastasis-free survival, cause-specific survival and overall survival rates were 82%, 77% and 73%; 77%, 72% and 67%; 74%, 70% and 70%; 70%, 59% and 54%; and 63%, 47% and 38%, respectively. Per multivariate analysis, combined surgery and RT and T stage impacted local control; overall stage and combined surgery and RT impacted local-regional control; overall stage impacted distant metastasis-free survival; and overall stage, node positivity, clinical nerve invasion, and surgery and RT impacted cause-specific and overall survival. Five percent of patients experienced grade 3 or worse toxicity.
Conclusion: Combined surgery and RT improves local control, local-regional control, and cause-specific survival compared with primary RT for salivary tumors.