The clinical utility of 'GRAS' parameters in stage I-III adrenocortical carcinomas: long-term data from a high-volume institution

Endocrine. 2020 Feb;67(2):449-456. doi: 10.1007/s12020-019-02141-2. Epub 2019 Nov 30.


Background: Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare cancer with poor survival. We sought to identify prognostic factors and assess its clinical utility in postoperative management of nonmetastatic ACC.

Methods: We included 65 patients who underwent adrenalectomy and clinicopathological diagnosed as European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors (ENSAT) stage I-III ACC in our center from 2009 to 2017. Potential clinicopathological parameters were selected. The prognostic correlation, including overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS), was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier method and univariate and multivariate Cox model.

Results: The 2-year and 5-year post-surgery survival rate were 54.6% (95%CI: 42.5-70.1%) and 33.5% (95%CI: 22.3-50.6%), respectively. 46 (70.8%) cases were symptomatic ACC. Tumor-related or hormone-related symptom was identified as independent prognostic factor in OS (HR = 5.5, 95%CI: 1.87-16.16) and RFS (HR = 3.62, 95%CI: 1.28-10.24). Higher tumor grade (Weiss score > 6 or Ki67 index ≥ 20%) was independently associated with poor OS (HR = 4.73, 95%CI: 2.15-10.43). R status (R1/R2/Rx) was independently correlated with worse RFS (HR = 2.56, 95%CI:1.21-5.43). Accordingly, patients with higher GRAS (Grade, R status, age, and symptoms) score were more likely to have poor prognosis (OS: HR = 2.7, 95%CI: 1.43-5.11 and RFS: HR = 3.31, 95%CI: 1.68-6.52, respectively).

Conclusions: Symptoms, higher tumor grade and positive/unknown R status were independent risk factors in stage I-III ACC. Comprehensive consideration of GRAS parameters may optimize the prognostic assessment for postoperative patients.

Keywords: Adrenocortical carcinoma; ENSAT; GRAS; Prognosis; Risk assessment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't