Treatment of Head and Neck Paragangliomas

Kenneth Hu, MD; Mark S. Persky, MD


Cancer Control. 2016;23(3):228-241. 

In This Article


Management of head and neck paragangliomas has evolved with advances in the understanding of the natural history of the disease, genetic testing, and the improvements of multiple treatment options. Because paragangliomas are benign in the vast majority of cases, survival is not a common end point reported in studies. Rather, the primary focus of study is preserving function and the prevention of morbidity from progressive disease. Watchful waiting represents an initial management strategy that may be appropriate for select patients whose tumors are incidentally found and remain asymptomatic. For those who require treatment, a multidisciplinary approach that emphasizes single-modality therapy offers optimal outcomes.