Acinic cell carcinoma natural history, complications and prognosis

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

Acinic cell carcinoma is a slow growing tumor and it may affect the facial nerve or other adjacent tissues depending on its location. Prognosis is most favorable when the parotid gland is involved.

Natural History

Progression of acinic cell carcinoma is slow but it may involve adjacent tissues if not treated adequately.

Complications

Acinic cell carcinoma can spread to adjacent organs and eventually be lethal if not intervened on time.

Prognosis

The prognosis is more favorable when the tumor is in a major salivary gland; the parotid gland is most favorable, then the submandibular gland; the least favorable primary sites are the sublingual and minor salivary glands. Large bulky tumors or high-grade tumors carry a poorer prognosis and may best be treated by surgical resection combined with postoperative radiation therapy.[1] The prognosis depends on the following:[2][3]

  • Gland in which they arise
  • Histology
  • Grade (i.e., degree of malignancy)
  • Extent of primary tumor (i.e., the stage)
  • Whether the tumor involves the facial nerve, has fixation to the skin or deep structures, or has spread to lymph nodes or distant sites

References

  1. Parsons JT, Mendenhall WM, Stringer SP, Cassisi NJ, Million RR (1996). "Management of minor salivary gland carcinomas.". Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 35 (3): 443–54. PMID 8655366. 
  2. Vander Poorten VL, Balm AJ, Hilgers FJ, Tan IB, Loftus-Coll BM, Keus RB; et al. (1999). "The development of a prognostic score for patients with parotid carcinoma.". Cancer. 85 (9): 2057–67. PMID 10223248. 
  3. Terhaard CH, Lubsen H, Van der Tweel I, Hilgers FJ, Eijkenboom WM, Marres HA; et al. (2004). "Salivary gland carcinoma: independent prognostic factors for locoregional control, distant metastases, and overall survival: results of the Dutch head and neck oncology cooperative group.". Head Neck. 26 (8): 681–92; discussion 692–3. PMID 15287035. doi:10.1002/hed.10400. 



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