Differences in patterns of survival in metastatic adenoid cystic carcinoma of the head and neck

Stijn van Weert*, Rinze Reinhard, Elisabeth Bloemena, Jan Buter, Birgit I. Witte, Marije R. Vergeer, C. René Leemans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: We examined the assumption in conventional teaching about metastatic adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) being an indolent type of disease. Methods: A single center analysis of 105 cases of ACC was performed. Radiographs were reviewed and tumor response to chemotherapy was measured. Distant disease-free survival (DDFS) and time to death since distant metastases diagnosis were analyzed. Results: Forty-two percent of the patients were diagnosed with distant metastases. DDFS showed significant negative associations with advanced T classification, N+ classification, solid type tumor, and positive surgical margins. Distant metastases (91%) developed in the first 5 years after presentation. Median distant metastatic survival was 13.8 months. The most frequent organ sited was the lung. Solid type ACC showed a preponderance for multiorgan metastases (17/28; 61%). Distant metastases seemed not to occur in case of clear surgical margins. Solid type ACC had a significant poorer survival after development of distant metastases. Conclusion: Metastatic ACC is not always an indolent disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-463
Number of pages8
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

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