Adenoid cystic carcinoma of the major salivary glands treated with surgery and radiation

Theresa A. Gurney, David W. Eisele, Vivian Weinberg, Ed Shin, Nancy Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: To examine patient characteristics, pathologic features, and treatment outcomes of adenoid cystic carcinoma of the major salivary glands. Study Design: Retrospective review of patients in an academic medical center. Method: Review of medical records regarding demographics, extent of tumor, stage, histologic characteristics, and treatment outcomes of patients treated with surgery and postoperative radiation. Results: Of the 33 patients, 19 (58%) were male, and 14 (42%) were female. The average age of presentation was 49 (range 22-81) years. Of the 29 patients fully staged at the time of diagnosis, 7 (24%) presented at American Joint Committee on Cancer stage I, 9 (31%) at stage II, 4 (14%) at stage III, and 9 (31%) at stage IV. The cribriform histologic subtype was predominant (64%). The majority originated in the parotid gland (21, 64%), with the remaining originating in either the submandibular gland (10,30%) or the sublingual gland (2, 6%). Local control was 94% at 5 years and 73% at 10 years. Metastatic control was 82% at 5 years and 63% at 10 years. Four patients failed locally and nine failed distally. Overall survival was 85% at 5 years and 69% at 10 years, with a median of 12.9 years. Conclusion: Surgical excision with postoperative radiation provides a long period of disease-free survival. Patients were more likely to fail with metastases than with local recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1278-1282
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenoid cystic carcinoma
  • Major salivary glands
  • Postoperative radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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