Prognostic factors in adenocarcinoma of the salivary glands

Oral Oncol. 2015 Jun;51(6):610-5. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2015.03.005. Epub 2015 Apr 2.


Objectives: We aimed to characterize prognostic factors and outcomes in adenocarcinomas of the salivary glands.

Materials and methods: Patients were identified and retrospectively reviewed for clinical and pathologic tumor characteristics. Low and high grade adenocarcinoma histologies were separated and analyzed. Treatment regimens and patient-related outcomes were recorded and measured.

Results: A total of 51 adenocarcinomas of the salivary glands were reviewed. The most common locations of disease were the superficial lobe of the parotid gland, followed by the deep lobe. Five-year overall and disease free survival rates were 43% and 37%. Univariate analysis identified the following as negative prognostic factors: symptoms of a fixed mass or rapid growth, advanced tumor or nodal stage, and perineural or lymphovascular invasion. Facial nerve paralysis was not found to be a significant prognostic variable. Multivariate analysis confirmed the independent negative prognostic importance of the following characteristics: presentation with a fixed mass or rapid growth, diagnosis of adenocarcinoma not otherwise specified, and positive surgical margins.

Conclusions: Our results identify several important prognostic factors associated with overall survival in adenocarcinoma of the salivary glands. These prognostic variables encompass symptoms on presentation, clinical and pathologic tumor stage characteristics, and treatment-related factors; all of which are important in patient counseling and may provide impetus for determining treatment escalation.

Keywords: Adenocarcinoma; Head and neck cancer; Prognosis; Risk factors; Salivary glands; Treatment outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / therapy