Long-term survival after complete resection and repeat resection in patients with adrenocortical carcinoma

Ann Surg Oncol. 1999 Dec;6(8):719-26. doi: 10.1007/s10434-999-0719-7.


Background: One of the key issues in the treatment of adrenocortical carcinoma is the efficacy of repeat resection of local recurrence and metastatic disease in affected patients. Options in the treatment of locally recurrent or metastatic disease are limited because chemotherapy and radiotherapy generally do not provide any significant prolongation in survival in treated patients.

Methods: A series of 113 patients who presented to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for treatment of adrenocortical carcinoma are presented.

Results: The median overall survival for all 113 patients was 38 months (5-year survival, 37%). Patients presenting with early stage I or II disease (n = 57) had a median survival of 101 months (5-year survival, 60%), whereas those with late stage III or IV disease (n = 56) had a median survival of 15 months (5-year survival, 10%). Patients who had complete primary resection (n = 68) had a median survival of 74 months (5-year survival, 55%), whereas those with incomplete primary resection (n = 45) had a median survival of 12 months (5-year survival, 5%). Resection of locally recurrent or distant metastatic disease was performed in 47 of these patients. Patients who had a complete second resection had a median survival of 74 months (5-year survival, 57%), whereas those with incomplete second resection had a median survival of 16 months (5-year survival, 0%).

Conclusions: Improved survival is seen in patients who present with early stage and have complete primary resection. Patients who undergo complete repeat resection of local recurrence or distant metastasis also have improved survival. Complete repeat resection was more readily accomplished in discrete distant metastatic lesions compared with bulky local recurrences.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / pathology
  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma / mortality*
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma / pathology
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma / secondary
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma / surgery*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Reoperation
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors