Treatment of Head and Neck Paragangliomas

Kenneth Hu, MD; Mark S. Persky, MD


Cancer Control. 2016;23(3):228-241. 

In This Article

Malignant and Catecholamine-secreting Paragangliomas

The diagnosis of malignant tumors is radiographically determined, because no distinguishing histological features of transformation exist. The standard treatment for malignant paragangliomas is resection of the primary tumor and neck dissection.[91] Data regarding the outcomes of malignant paragangliomas after definitive radiotherapy are rare.[37,43] Hinerman et al[43] reported on 3 patients with malignant carotid body tumors and neck metastases who underwent definitive radiotherapy (64.8–70 Gy) who were without evidence of disease at 15 months, 4 years, and 6 years. Catecholamine-secreting tumors should be treated with resection as results from case reports indicate poor functional control in patients treated with radiotherapy despite lack of tumor progression.[37]