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Will research ways of reducing dry mouth in patients receiving whole brain radiotherapy

Kyle Wang (2014)

Congratulations to senior radiation oncology resident Dr. Kyle Wang for his receipt of a $39,000 UNC Lineberger Developmental Award to fund a clinical trial entitled “Prospective Evaluation of Parotid Sparing Whole Brain Radiation and Patient Reported Xerostomia”.

Patients who receive head and neck radiation therapy are at high risk of developing a common treatment side effect known as xerostomia, which is dry mouth (sometimes severe) caused by radiation damage to the salivary glands. This complication is well-documented in patients who receive radiation therapy to the mouth, jaw and neck, but had not been considered a problem historically for patients receiving whole brain irradiation until recently. Dr. Wang’s study will use modified brain treatment fields that exclude the salivary glands in the hopes of reducing the incidence of dry mouth – which adversely affects quality of life – in these patients.