Adenoid cystic carcinoma of the esophagus. Complete response to combination chemotherapy

Cancer. 1986 Apr 15;57(8):1464-7. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19860415)57:8<1464::aid-cncr2820570805>;2-f.


A 55-year-old man had adenoid cystic carcinoma of the esophagus metastatic to the lungs and right supraclavicular fossa. He was treated with local radiation therapy to the esophagus and supraclavicular fossa, followed by combination chemotherapy with doxorubicin, mitomycin C, and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). After a modest initial response, disease progression was noted in the pulmonary nodules. He was then treated with cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and doxorubicin. After two cycles of this regimen, there was complete regression of his pulmonary nodules, which was sustained for 5 months. A review of 44 literature cases of esophageal adenoid cystic carcinoma contrasted with adenoid cystic carcinoma of salivary gland origin indicated that the esophageal adenoid cystic carcinomas have a high tendency to metastasize (76% of cases) and a much poorer prognosis, with only 23% 1-year survival rate. It was concluded that esophageal adenoid carcinoma is clinopathologically distinct from the salivary gland variant, and that combination chemotherapy may be an effective treatment modality for this cancer.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / pathology
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitomycin
  • Mitomycins / administration & dosage
  • Vincristine / administration & dosage


  • Mitomycins
  • Mitomycin
  • Vincristine
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Cisplatin
  • Fluorouracil