Adenoid cystic carcinoma of the sinonasal tract: treatment results

Laryngoscope. 2006 Jun;116(6):982-6. doi: 10.1097/01.mlg.0000216900.03188.48.


Objectives: Malignancies arising from the sinonasal tract, which includes the nose, paranasal sinuses, and nasopharynx, are uncommon. Although adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is the second most common cancer occurring in the sinonasal tract, only few studies have been reported. This retrospective review was performed to identify the clinical features and treatment outcomes of sinonasal ACC.

Methods: Thirty-five patients diagnosed and treated for ACC of the sinonasal tract were included in this study. Medical records, radiographs, and pathologic slides were retrospectively reviewed.

Results: In two thirds of the patients, the maxillary sinus was the site of origin and cribriform was the most common histologic subtype (61%). Seventy-one percent of the patients had advanced disease (T3, T4) at the time of diagnosis. Five-year overall survival rate was 86% and treatment failure occurred in 18 patients (51%). Five-year local recurrence rate and distant metastasis rate were 30% and 25%, respectively. Adjunctive radiotherapy appeared to reduce local recurrence. Presence of distant metastasis correlated with decreased 5-year survival (P = .001). Five-year survival rate after development of distant metastasis or local recurrence were 17% and 58%, respectively.

Conclusions: Based on our findings, we suggest that sinonasal ACC be treated by a combined modality of radical surgery followed by postoperative radiation. The prognosis of sinonasal ACC seems to be determined by the presence of distant metastasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / therapy*
  • Ethmoid Sinus
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maxillary Sinus
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Cavity
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Nose Neoplasms / mortality
  • Nose Neoplasms / pathology
  • Nose Neoplasms / surgery
  • Nose Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / mortality
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / pathology
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / surgery
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate