Treatment outcomes of patients with adenoid cystic carcinoma of the airway.

Lung Cancer

PubMedID: 20828861

Lee JH, Jung EJ, Jeon K, Koh WJ, Suh GY, Chung MP, Kim H, Kwon OJ, Shim YM, Kim J, Han J, Um SW. Treatment outcomes of patients with adenoid cystic carcinoma of the airway. Lung Cancer. 2011;72(2):244-9.
Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of the airway is a slowly growing tumor and airway narrowing is one of the main causes of death. The purposes of this study were to investigate treatment outcomes, prognostic factors, and the indications and outcomes of bronchoscopic interventions in patients with ACC of the airway.

We retrospectively analyzed the clinical characteristics, treatment modalities, and clinical outcomes of patients with histologically-proven ACC of the airway treated between January 1995 and June 2009 at Samsung Medical Center.

A total of 30 patients were included in the study. Sixteen patients were male and the median age was 45 years. Multiple treatment modalities were required for the patients; 17 for surgery, 13 for definitive radiation therapy, 10 for adjuvant radiation therapy, and 1 for adjuvant chemotherapy. Bronchoscopic interventions were required to improve airway narrowing in 20 patients. After bronchoscopic intervention, 19 patients (95%) showed immediate improvement of airway narrowing and suffered no serious complications. The 5- and 10-year overall survival (OS) rates in these patients were 84% and 70%, respectively. The prognostic factors associated with OS were tumor size, tumor location, clinical T stage, surgery as an initial treatment, and bronchoscopic intervention.

ACC of the airway had a good long-term prognosis but bronchoscopic interventions were frequently required during the course of the disease due to the development of airway narrowing. Bronchoscopic interventions may be considered as a bridge therapy before surgery or radiation therapy and as a palliative therapy for airway narrowing.