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Current management options for recurrent adrenocortical carcinoma

Authors Glover AR, Ip J, Zhao JT, Soon P, Robinson BG, Sidhu SB

Received 25 February 2013

Accepted for publication 8 April 2013

Published 6 June 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 635—643


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Anthony R Glover,1 Julian C Y Ip,1 Jing Ting Zhao,1 Patsy S H Soon,1,4 Bruce G Robinson,1,3 Stan B Sidhu1,2

1Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Cancer Genetics Laboratory, 2Endocrine Surgical Unit, 3Department of Endocrinology, Royal North Shore Hospital and University of Sydney, St Leonards, 4Department of Surgery, Bankstown Hospital and University of New South Wales, Bankstown, NSW, Australia

Abstract: Adrenal cortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare cancer that poses a number of management challenges due to the limited number of effective systemic treatments. Complete surgical resection offers the best chance of long-term survival. However, despite complete resection, ACC is associated with high recurrence rates. This review will discuss the management of recurrent ACC in adults following complete surgical resection. Management should take place in a specialist center and treatment decisions must consider the individual tumor biology of each case of recurrence. Given the fact that ACC commonly recurs, management to prevent recurrence should be considered from initial diagnosis with the use of adjuvant mitotane. Close follow up with clinical examination and imaging is important for early detection of recurrent disease. Locoregional recurrence may be isolated, and repeat surgical resection should be considered along with mitotane. The use of radiotherapy in ACC remains controversial. Systemic recurrence most often involves liver, pulmonary, and bone metastasis and is usually managed with mitotane, with or without combination chemotherapy. There is a limited role for surgical resection in systemic recurrence in selected patients. In all patients with recurrent disease, control of excessive hormone production is an important part of management. Despite intensive management of recurrent ACC, treatment failure is common and the use of clinical trials and novel treatment is an important part of management.

Keywords: recurrence, surgery, chemotherapy, mitotane, treatment

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