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Stem Cell Sparing Radiotherapy For Head And Neck Cancer May Avoid Salivary Gland Damage

Posted on Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Barcelona, Spain – Researchers believe they may have found a way to avoid damaging salivary glands during radiotherapy treatment for head and neck cancer—a discovery that could improve the quality of life of 500,000 patients a year worldwide with the disease.

Presenting their findings to the 31st conference of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO31), the researchers said that they had discovered that the stem cells essential for regenerating the parotid gland (the largest pair of salivary glands) were located mainly in its major ducts, and that these could easily be avoided during radiotherapy or given a minimal radiation dose. “This would significantly reduce complications arising from radiotherapy for head and neck cancer,” said Dr Peter van Luijk, a research associate at the University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands.

To read the full report from the The Oral Cancer Foundation, visit:

Source: European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO)

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