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Surgery raises survival in adrenal cortical carcinoma.

CHICAGO -- Patients with adrenal cortical carcinoma (ACC) who opt for surgery are predicted to survive significantly longer than those who choose chemotherapy or radiation at all stages, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.

These findings, uncovered using the largest cancer registry in the United States, will help give physicians insight into what the best course of action is for treating their patients, according to presenters.

"Surgical resection of the primary tumor improved survival in all stages of disease, whereas adjuvant therapy with chemotherapy or radiation improved overall survival only in stage IV patients," said Sri Harsha Telia, MD, endocrinologist at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.

"These results may help the prognostication of patients in treatment decision making."

Investigators conducted a retrospective study of 3,185 pathologically confirmed cases of ACC, registered into the National Cancer Database between 2004 and 2015.

Patients were mostly women with an average age of 55 years old and private insurance, with a nearly even split of patients with stage I-III (26%) and stage IV ACC (24%). Nearly three-quarters of those studied chose to have surgery, of which 31% chose open resection. Patients with stage I-III ACC had a significant median survival rate of 63 months, compared with those who did not have surgery who had an average survival of 8 months. In patients with stage IV ACC, surgery lengthened overall survival to 19 months, compared with 6 months for those without surgery, according to Dr. Telia and fellow investigators.

While surgery did have a greater positive effect on patients' life spans across all stages, the impact of chemotherapy and radiation was significant only among stage IV patients who had complete surgery.

Those in the stage IV group who were given postsurgery adjuvant chemotherapy were likely to live an average of nearly 9 more months than did those who did not have chemotherapy after radiation (22 vs. 13), while those given radiation therapy saw an increase in survival by 19 months (29 vs. 10). These increases did not affect stage I-III patients, who had a similar rate of survival regardless of additional therapies after their surgery (24 vs. 25 months).

One possible explanation for why additional therapy made little difference in survival for stage I-III patients is that, given that the tumors did not spread as widely, the surgical procedures were likely to be more effective at removing most of the disease, according to Dr. Telia.

"One of the possibilities is that surgeons were able to get the whole mass out," Dr. Telia hypothesized in response to a question from attendees. "On the other hand, patients with stage IV ACC may be more likely to have more presence of metastases and so would benefit more greatly from the removal of the primary tumor and then also additional therapy."

Investigators noted that, because of the structure of the registry, they were unable to determine the initiation and duration of chemotherapy, as well as doses of radiation therapy received by the patient.

A more robust database and future stage-specific, prospective clinical trials are needed in order to better understand these findings, according to Dr. Telia.

The investigators reported no relevant financial disclosures.

SOURCE: Telia SH et al. Endo 2018, Abstract OR09-3.


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Title Annotation:CANCER
Author:Zimmerman, Eli
Publication:Family Practice News
Date:May 1, 2018
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