Botulinum toxin for salivary disorders in the treatment of head and neck cancer

Armin Steffen*, Katrin Hasselbacher, Sabrina Heinrichs, Barbara Wollenberg

*Corresponding author for this work
4 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aim: During the treatment of head and neck cancer (HNC), salivary problems may impair a patient's healing process. Botulinum toxin (BoNT) is accepted as an effective treatment option for reducing salivary flow. We aimed to describe the features of patients treated with BoNT to determine the effects of BoNT. Patients and Methods: Twentyfive patients over a five-year period were retrospectively included. The patients suffered at different stages of oncologic treatment. The cohort primarily had larger primary tumors that required complex oncological treatment. Results: The condition improved in more than three quarters of the 19 patients with functional hypersalivation. Four of six cases suffering from a salivary fistula demonstrated an obvious reduction in symptoms. Conclusions: Injection of BoNT, to temporarily reduce saliva flow, is a safe tool in the treatment of HNC even in situations involving repeated therapy or high dosage. The main clinical side-effect of BoNT is insufficient reduction of the salivary problem.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)6627-6632
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2014


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