Aggressive Salivary Malignancies at Early Stage: Outcomes and Implications for Treatment

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Background:Few studies have examined whether the use of adjuvant treatment impacts survival for early stage high-grade salivary tumors.Methods:A retrospective review of the SEER database between 1973 and 2012 was performed. Patients with high-grade major salivary gland tumors including salivary duct carcinoma, carcinoma ex-pleomorphic adenoma, high-grade mucoepidermoid carcinoma, or adenocarcinoma, NOS were identified. Only stage I-II tumors were included. The impact of radiation status on observed and relative survival was examined.Results:Five hundred seventy-four patients with high-grade, early stage salivary tumors met inclusion criteria. Sixty-seven percent of patients received radiation therapy. There was no difference in observed or relative survival based on having received radiation.Conclusions:Adjuvant radiation is indicated for advanced stage tumors or early stage tumors with adverse features. For early stage tumors without adverse features, there was no survival benefit from radiation therapy. Adjuvant radiation should be decided on a case-by-case basis for these patients.

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