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Comment & Response
November 14, 2019

Some Considerations in Treating Malignant Head and Neck Paragangliomas—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020;146(2):210-211. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2019.3422

In Reply We appreciate the feedback received from Jha et al regarding our article titled “Characterization of Malignant Head and Neck Paragangliomas at a Single Institution Across Multiple Decades.”1 This article describes our institutional experience with head and neck paragangliomas, with an emphasis on evaluating clinical outcomes among malignant head and neck paragangliomas. All of these patients with malignant head and neck paragangliomas were considered surgical candidates without known metastatic disease at presentation. Furthermore, all patients were presented at our institutional head and neck treatment planning conference where surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists recommend the best treatment option that is catered for each patient. Surgical resection was only offered when the team felt curative resection could be achieved. Furthermore, the most recent data from the National Cancer Database demonstrated 67% to 88% 5-year survival for patients with malignant head and neck paragangliomas who underwent surgery or surgery with adjuvant radiation, which has the best-known survival outcomes offered for patients with this rare disease.2

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