Ten Year Experience with Surgery and Radiation in the Management of Malignant Major Salivary Gland Tumors

  • Iqbal, Hassan (Department of Surgical Oncology, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre) ;
  • Bhatti, Abu Bakar Hafeez (Department of Surgical Oncology, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre) ;
  • Hussain, Raza (Department of Surgical Oncology, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre) ;
  • Jamshed, Arif (Department of Radiation Oncology, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre)
  • Published : 2014.03.01


Background: Despite being rare in incidence, malignant tumors of major salivary glands show diverse histological variation. There are limited data on major salivary gland tumor management and outcome from Pakistan. The objective of this study was to share our experience with management of malignant tumors of major salivary glands. Materials and Methods: Patients who received treatment at Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital and Research Center from July 2002 to June 2011 with an underlying diagnosis of a major salivary gland malignancy were included. Patient characteristics and treatment modalities were assessed. Local, regional and distant failures were determined. Disease free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were calculated using Kaplan Meier curves and the Log rank test was used to determine statistical significance. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using Cox proportional hazard regression. Results: The parotid gland was the primary site of origin in 104 (80%) patients. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma (43%) and adenoid cystic carcinoma (24%) were the most common histological types. Surgery followed by adjuvant radiation remained the mainstay treatment modality with 81 (62%) patients. Nineteen (15%) patients were treated with surgery alone and 30 (23%) patients with locally advanced surgically inoperable tumors received radiation only. Forty one (32%) patients failed the treatment (local 12, regional 11, locoregional 5, distant 13). The expected 5 year DFS and OS were 65% and 74% respectively. On multivariate analysis, grade was the only independent predictor of DFS and nodal involvement was the only independent predictor of overall survival. Conclusions: Employing existing standards of treatment, comparable survival can be achieved in Pakistani population with major salivary gland malignancies as elsehwere in the world.


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