Guidelines issued for managing salivary gland dysfunction

New guidelines for managing salivary gland dysfunction (SGD) in oncology patients have been developed by a group of U.K. medical specialists.

The guidelines were published August 31 in an early online edition of the European Journal of Cancer Care.

The evidence-based recommendations were developed following a Medline search that identified the existing literature on SGD. The abstracts of all identified papers were read and the full texts of all relevant papers reviewed.

The evidence was graded according to the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network grading system for recommendations in evidence-based guidelines.

The recommendations include the following:

  • Patients with cancer should be regularly assessed and reassessed for SGD.
  • The management of SGD should be individualized.
  • Consideration should be given to strategies to prevent the development of radiation-induced SGD.
  • The treatment of choice for the symptomatic management of SGD is the use of an appropriate saliva stimulant.
  • Consideration should be given to prevention and treatment of SGD complications.

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