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Front. Oncol. | doi: 10.3389/fonc.2019.01090

A review on the assessment of radiation induced salivary gland damage after radiotherapy

 Vincent WC Wu1* and Kit-yee Leung1
  • 1Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Head and neck cancers are common in Southern China including Hong Kong. Intensity modulated radiotherapy has been the treatment of choice for these patients. Although radiotherapy provides good local control, radiotherapy treatment side-effects are still inevitable due to close proximity of the organs at risk from the target volume. Xerostomia, which is caused due to the damage of salivary glands, is one of the main radiation induced toxicities in post-radiotherapy head and neck patients. This review article discusses the methods for the assessing of radiation induced salivary gland changes including the gland morphology and saliva flow rate. The discussion also includes the recovery of the salivary gland after radiotherapy and how it is affected by the dose. It is expected that the future direction in monitoring the recovery of salivary glands will focus in cellular or molecular levels, and the development of imaging biomarker

Keywords: salivary gland, radiation induced damage, Radiotherapy, salivary gland recovery, Saliva flow

Received: 26 Aug 2019; Accepted: 02 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Wu and Leung. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Vincent WC Wu, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong, htvinwu@polyu.edu.hk