BACKGROUND: Most patients with adrenocortical cancer (ACC) continue to present with advanced disease. Invasion into the inferior vena cava (IVC) defines stage III disease and the management of such patients raises additional difficulties.
METHOD: A multicentre survey was organized by emailing a standardized proforma to members of the European Society of Endocrine Surgery (ESES). Anonymised retrospective clinical data were collected.
RESULTS: Replies were received from 18 centres in nine countries. ACC with IVC invasion was encountered in 38 patients (18F:20M, age 15-84 years, median 54 years). There were 16 nonfunctioning tumours and 22 functioning tumours predominantly right-sided (26R:12L) and measuring 18-255 mm (median 115 mm). Fourteen patients had metastatic disease at presentation. Tumour thrombus extended in the prehepatic IVC (n = 21), subdiaphragmatic IVC (n = 6) or into the SVC/right atrium (n = 3). Open adrenalectomy was associated with resection of surrounding viscera in 24 patients (nephrectomy n = 16, liver resection n = 14, splenectomy n = 3, Whipple procedure n = 2). IVC was controlled locally (n = 27), at suprahepatic levels (n = 6) or necessitated cardiac bypass (n = 5). Complete resection (R0, n = 20) was achieved in the majority of patients, with a minority having microscopic persistent disease (R1, n = 7) or macroscopic residual disease (R2, n = 4). Perioperative 30-day mortality was 13% (n = 5). Postoperative Mitotane was used in 23 patients and chemotherapy in eight patients. Twenty-five patients died 2-61 months after their operation (median 5 months). Currently, 13 patients are alive at 2-58 months (median 16 months) with known metastatic disease (n = 7) or with no signs of distant disease (n = 6).
CONCLUSION: This dataset is limited by the lack of a denominator as it remains unknown how many other patients with ACC presenting with IVC invasion did not undergo surgery. The relatively low perioperative mortality and the long disease-free survival achieved by some patients should encourage surgeons with adequate experience to offer surgical treatment to patients presenting with advanced adrenocortical cancers.
Mihai R, Iacobone M, Makay O, Moreno P, Frilling A, Kraimps JL, Soriano A, Villar del Moral J, Barczynski M, Durán MC, Sadler GP, Niederle B, Dralle H, Harrison B, Carnaille B Are you the author?
Endocrine Surgery Unit, Department of Surgery, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, OX3 9DU, UK.
Reference: Langenbecks Arch Surg. 2012 Feb;397(2):225-31