Oncologists at the Netherlands Cancer Institute have uncovered a set of previously undiscovered salivary glands while using a new kind of scan as part of their research into patients with head and neck cancer.
The new scan technology the oncologists used in this instance was positron emission tomography/computed tomography with prostate-specific membrane antigen ligands (PSMA PET/CT). The patients were injected with radioactive glucose before the scan, which highlights tumors within the patient. When they scanned the patients, the oncologists noticed there were two unexpected areas within all of the patient's heads that lit up.
“People have three sets of large salivary glands, but not there,” study author radiation oncologist Wouter Vogel said in a statement. “As far as we knew, the only salivary or mucous glands in the nasopharynx are microscopically small, and up to 1000 are evenly spread out throughout the mucosa. So, imagine our surprise when we found these.” You can read more about it here at IFLScience.com,