Hung out to dry.

The advent of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for the treatment of head and neck (H&N) cancers brought great hope for salivary glands everywhere. But maybe we shouldn’t be saving saliva everywhere. A startling report out of UCLA shows that H&N patients treated with intentional sparing of the ipsilateral parotid gland had significantly worse local control and even overall survival than their counterparts treated without concerted efforts to spare the ipsilateral side, which was attributed to significantly higher marginal failures and true misses among the former. Yet another reminder that fancy techniques should never trump tumor control.


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