(HealthDay)—A wait-and-scan strategy seems to be feasible for patients with head and neck paraganglioma (PGL), according to a study published online July 10 in Head & Neck.
Thijs T.G. Jansen, from the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study involving patients with head and neck PGL. The authors measured tumor growth in axial plane diameter and tumor volume during a wait-and-scan period.
The researchers found that 44 percent of 59 jugulotympanic tumors, 71 carotid body tumors, and 29 vagal body tumors were growing (median growth rates, 0.41, 1.6, and 1.6 mm/year, respectively). There was a significant correlation for growth with age at presentation (odds ratio, 0.974; P < 0.05). Twenty complications were induced by 17 tumors; six of these were growing, and the growth rates were higher than in non-complication-inducing tumors (P = 0.016).
"The results of this study illustrate that a wait-and-scan policy is a feasible treatment option in cases for head and neck PGL, as it potentially prevents treatment-induced morbidity in the majority of patients, including those presenting larger tumors," the authors write. "Our results also suggest that radiological follow-up is not an optimal management strategy, because a large group of tumors were found not to grow, although they did elicit complications, in the main, years after the initial diagnosis."
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