Salivary Gland Surgery Before Radiation Therapy in Preventing Radiation-Caused Xerostomia in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00068237
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 11, 2003
Results First Posted : January 31, 2014
Last Update Posted : February 17, 2017
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Radiation Therapy Oncology Group

September 10, 2003
September 11, 2003
October 29, 2013
January 31, 2014
February 17, 2017
August 2003
January 2008   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Number of Patients Scored as Having the Surgical Technique of Submandibular Salivary Gland Transfer Performed "Per Protocol" [ Time Frame: At the time of the submandibular salivary gland transfer ]
Surgery will be scored as "per protocol prescription" if scored as such by both central reviewers- the Study Chair and the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Head and Neck Committee Surgical Chair. If 21 or more of 43 subjects are scored as having surgery "per protocol prescription", then the technique will be considered reproducible with 80% power and 5% type I error using Simon's two stage design with unacceptable/acceptable rates set at 60%/80%.
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Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00068237 on Archive Site
  • Rate of Acute Xerostomia [ Time Frame: From start of treatment to 90 days ]
  • Salivary Scan Evaluation [ Time Frame: From start of treatment to 6 months ]
  • Quality of Life [ Time Frame: From registration to 1 year ]
  • Toxicity [ Time Frame: From start of treatment to last follow-up ]
  • Disease-free Survival [ Time Frame: From registration to date of failure (local or regional persistence/relapse or distant metastasis or second primary tumor or death) or last follow-up ]
  • Overall Survival [ Time Frame: From registration to date of death or last follow-up ]
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Salivary Gland Surgery Before Radiation Therapy in Preventing Radiation-Caused Xerostomia in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer
A Phase II Study Of Submandibular Salivary Gland Transfer To The Submental Space Prior To Start Of Radiation Treatment For Prevention Of Radiation-Induced Xerostomia In Head And Neck Cancer Patients

RATIONALE: Moving a salivary gland out of the area that will undergo radiation therapy may protect the gland from side effects of radiation therapy and may prevent xerostomia (dry mouth).

PURPOSE: Phase II trial to study the effectiveness of salivary gland surgery in preventing xerostomia in patients who are undergoing radiation therapy for head and neck cancer.


  • Determine the reproducibility of the surgical technique of submandibular salivary gland transfer in patients with head and neck cancer.
  • Determine the rate and severity of radiation-induced xerostomia after this surgery in these patients.
  • Determine the pattern of recurrence, disease-free survival, and overall survival of patients treated with this surgery followed by radiotherapy.
  • Determine the quality of life of patients treated with this regimen.

OUTLINE: This is a multicenter study.

Patients undergo surgical transfer of the submandibular salivary gland to the submental space.

Within 4-6 weeks after surgery, patients undergo radiotherapy once daily, 5 days a week for 5 ½ to 7 weeks in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

Salivary scans are performed before surgery, at 2-3 weeks after surgery, and then at 6 months from the start of radiotherapy.

Quality of life is assessed at baseline and at 3, 6, and 12 months from the start of radiotherapy.

Patients are followed every 3 months for 2 years and then every 6 months for 3 years and then annually.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 11-48 patients will be accrued for this study within 1.6 years.

Phase 2
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Radiation Toxicity
  • Xerostomia
  • Procedure: Surgery for the primary and neck nodes
  • Procedure: Submandibular salivary gland transfer
  • Radiation: Post-operative radiation therapy
Surgery and salivary gland transfer and radiation
Patients undergo surgery for the primary and neck nodes and submandibular salivary gland transfer on Day 1 followed by post-operative radiation therapy within 4-6 weeks of surgery. Radiation therapy dose can range from 54-70 Gy over 5.5-7 weeks, at 2.0 Gy/fraction.
  • Procedure: Surgery for the primary and neck nodes
  • Procedure: Submandibular salivary gland transfer
  • Radiation: Post-operative radiation therapy
Jha N, Harris J, Seikaly H, Jacobs JR, McEwan AJ, Robbins KT, Grecula J, Sharma AK, Ang KK. A phase II study of submandibular gland transfer prior to radiation for prevention of radiation-induced xerostomia in head-and-neck cancer (RTOG 0244). Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Oct 1;84(2):437-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2012.02.034. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
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December 2016
January 2008   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)


  • One of the following diagnoses:

    • Histologically confirmed, previously untreated squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx, hypopharynx, or larynx
    • Head and neck cancer of unknown primary with unilateral metastases to the neck nodes
  • No N3 disease
  • No carcinoma of the oral cavity or nasopharynx
  • No bilateral neck node involvement
  • No suspicious neck node on the contralateral neck or the side chosen for salivary gland transfer by CT scan or MRI
  • No pre-epiglottic space involvement
  • No involvement of level 1 nodes on either side of the neck
  • No salivary gland malignancy
  • No recurrent disease



  • At least 18 years old

Performance status

  • Zubrod 0-1

Life expectancy

  • Not specified


  • Hemoglobin at least 10 g/dL


  • Not specified


  • Not specified


  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Negative pregnancy test
  • Fertile patients must use effective contraception
  • No salivary gland disease (e.g., Sjögren's syndrome)
  • No other malignancy within the past 3 years except basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer


Biologic therapy

  • Not specified


  • More than 3 years since prior chemotherapy
  • No prior or concurrent neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Concurrent adjuvant chemoradiotherapy (in addition to study radiotherapy) allowed

Endocrine therapy

  • Not specified


  • See Chemotherapy
  • No prior radiotherapy to the head and neck
  • No concurrent intensity-modulated radiotherapy


  • Not specified


  • No concurrent cholinergic drugs
  • No concurrent anti-cholinergic drugs
  • No concurrent tricyclic drugs
  • No concurrent prophylactic amifostine or pilocarpine during and for at least 3 months after completion of study radiotherapy
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
Canada,   United States
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Radiation Therapy Oncology Group
Radiation Therapy Oncology Group
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Study Chair: Naresh Jha, MBBS Cross Cancer Institute at University of Alberta
Radiation Therapy Oncology Group
December 2016

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP