Discovery Of New Organ In Human Body
Updated: Oct 23
The Salivary Gland System in the human body consists of 3 major salivary glands: Partiod gland, Submandibular, and Sublingual gland and 1000 microscopically minor glands. But is that it?
Is this where our medical team has set up the camp? It might seem skeptical in 2020. Maybe the salivary gland system does not consist of 3 major salivary glands but 4!
The Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam has discovered the potential new location of salivary glands. The research got published almost a week ago, on the 16th of October 2020, Friday, by the team of researchers of NCI with colleagues from Amsterdam UMC, UMCG, and UMC Utrecht. The radiology oncologist, Wouter Volger, and maxillofacial surgeon, Matthijs Valtser, were studying the new set of scans when they were stunned by a new set of glands on the back of the nasopharynx;
As far as the medical research team knows, there were only microscopic salivary glands at the nasopharynx, then what are the odds of finding a new set of macroscopic glands?
The 100 patients PSMA PET/CT scans demonstrated clear visibility of mass over-laying on the torus tuberous. The human cadavers dissected area also showed the macroscopic draining duct openings. The gland's name is suggested as "Tubarial Glands" on basis of its location with a length of 3.9 cm.
As our head is in clouds that how advancing medicine missed on such significant discovery, there is a number of reasons why it happened. With the anatomical location of the gland under the skull base with its flat structure, it would have been hard to recognize it as the large gland. Also, ultrasound, CT, and MRI did not indicate the presence of these glands. This discovery was done when PSMA PET/CT with high sensitivity and specificity resulted in the lit-up of these areas.
As shocking as this discovery seems, it is also that beneficial for cancer patients. Patients with head and neck cancer as well as the patients with tumors in the throat and tongue can be benefited from this discovery. As radiation therapy is often recommended for these patients they suffer from several types of complications. They have difficulties with swallowing, speaking, and eating. If doctors find a way to use radiation therapy in a way where they can spare this set of glands then it can improve the quality of life of these patients.