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New Glands Discovered in the Throat

A newly discovered set of glands in the upper part of the throat were accidentally discovered with combination CT scans and and positron emission tomography (PET). Researchers were studying prostate cancer, specifically using a tracer to find the PSMA protein which is elevated in prostate cancer. The protein also happens to be prevalent in salivary gland tissue.

These newly named tubarial salivary glands could have some impact on cancer treatment, since doctors treating head and neck cancers try to avoid radiating the known salivary glands. Since no one knew about these glands, they were not actively avoided, and further research suggests that patients who got radiation on those glands had more salivary side effects.

For more on these new organs, head to Live Science.