Scientists in the Netherlands have discovered a potential new organ in the human throat that they
stumbled upon while carrying out research on prostate cancer.
Researchers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute have identified a set of salivary glands deep in the upper part of
the throat and have named them “tubarial salivary glands”.
The discovery may be important for cancer treatment. So far, this nasopharynx region — behind the nose — was
not thought to host anything but microscopic, diffuse, salivary glands.
The newly discovered glands are about 1.5 inches (3.9 centimeters) in length on average and are located over a
piece of cartilage called the torus tubarius.
The glands probably lubricate and moisten the upper throat behind the nose and mouth.
Until now, there were three known large salivary glands in humans: one under the tongue, one under the jaw and
one at the back of the jaw, behind the cheek.