Systemic chemotherapy for adrenocortical carcinoma: Comparative responses to conventional first-line therapies

Gilbert G. Fareau, Adriana Lopez, Charles Stava, Rena Vassilopoulou-Sellin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare the efficacies of conventional first-line chemotherapies for adrenocortical carcinoma. We reviewed the records of adult patients (ĝ‰¥17 years) who had received first-line systemic chemotherapy with serial pretreatment and posttreatment radiologic staging studies in our institution between 1980 and 2000. Overall survival (OS) and time to progression (TTP) for different treatment groups were determined using the Kaplang-Meier method and were compared using the log-rank test. Univariate and multivariate models were fitted to different subsets of patients for OS and TTP and used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals. We identified 224 patients with a diagnosis of adrenocortical carcinoma, 57 of whom met the inclusion criteria for further study. Chemotherapy groups included: mitotane (n≤12), platinum and etoposide (n≤16), mitotane with platinum and etoposide (n≤11), mitotane and other cytotoxics (n≤5), platinum and etoposide with other cytotoxics (n≤3), and other miscellaneous cytotoxics (n≤10). No statistically significant differences in OS (P≤0.31) were noted among the treatment groups, but there was a statistically significant difference in TTP (P≤0.02) favoring mitotane alone (TTP≤6.24 months; 95% confidence interval, 3.58g-32.13). Multivariate analysis was most notable for a significantly greater OS (HR≤0.49, P≤0.04) and TTP (HR≤0.3, P≤0.01) associated with peritoneal metastases. Our analysis revealed no clear advantage for any single agent or combination over any of the other conventional frontline chemotherapeutic choices for adrenocortical carcinoma. Novel agents are thus sorely needed in the treatment of this aggressive cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-644
Number of pages8
JournalAnti-Cancer Drugs
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Adrenocortical carcinoma
  • Chemotherapy
  • Management
  • Metastases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Cancer Research


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