Adrenocortical carcinoma: A tumor with poor answer to classic chemotherapy

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2023-0039

Introduction: Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) represents a rare endocrine malignancy being the second most aggressive endocrine cancer after anaplastic thyroid cancer. [1]. While most of them arise sporadically, up to 15% of adult ACC patients are related to germline mutations associated with familial cancer syndromes.[1,2]. Current treatment strategies include surgery as well as systemic therapy with mitotane and chemotherapy.
Case report: A 60-year-old female patient with a family history of colon cancer, multinodular goiter, hypothyroidism treated with substitutive therapy, uterine fibroids, and hypertension, was diagnosed with adrenocortical carcinoma. No distant metastasis were present at the moment of diagnosis so an adrenalectomy was performed. Due to postoperative complications, a total nephrectomy was also needed. Adjuvant Mitotane treatment was given. A CT exam performed 5 months after the resection showed multiple pulmonary metastasis, a liver nodule and peritoneal carcinomatosis. The standard first-line chemotherapy of choice was Carboplatin and Etoposide. After completing 3 cycles of chemotherapy the imaging reassessment show the progression of liver and peritoneal lesions and the quasi-complete regression of lung lesions. Currently, the Mitotate treatment was stopped due to severe adverse reactions.
Conclusions: Adrenocortical carcinoma is a rare endocrine malignancy with a poor prognosis. The recruitment of ACC patients for new clinical trials to investigate new treatment strategies is needed because currently, no significant therapeutic breakthrough is emerging.

Full text: PDF