Salivary gland cancer: an update on present and emerging therapies

Julie Carlson, Lisa Licitra, Laura Locati, David Raben, Fredrik Persson, Göran Stenman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Malignant salivary gland tumors make up a small proportion of malignancies worldwide, yet vary widely in terms of histology, patterns of spread, and recurrence. A better understanding of this variability will guide appropriate treatment recommendations and lead to improved outcomes. Recent molecular genetic studies have uncovered a translocation-generated gene fusion network in salivary gland carcinomas that can be used for diagnosis, treatment decisions, and development of specific targeted therapies. The gene fusions encode novel fusion oncoproteins that function as transcriptional coactivators, tyrosine kinase receptors, and transcription factors involved in growth-factor signaling and cell-cycle regulation. While surgery currently is the primary therapy for operable tumors, radiation plays an important role in the postoperative setting, as well as in the definitive setting for inoperable lesions. An awareness of the risk factors for tumor recurrence and spread is important for both adjuvant therapy referrals and for radiation treatment planning purposes. Additionally, chemotherapy is being used increasingly in both the concurrent setting as a radiosensitizer, as well as in the palliative setting for metastatic tumors. Future trials investigating concurrent chemotherapy and radiation, as well as the use of targeted agents based on evolving molecular discoveries, will elucidate optimal personalized approaches for this challenging disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-263
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Society of Clinical Oncology educational book / ASCO. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Meeting
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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