BACKGROUND: To review the demographic data of a series of adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of the tongue, as well as to analyze c-kit expression, histopathologic patterns, prognostic factors, evolution, recurrences and/or persistence and survival.<br /><br />METHODS: Retrospective study from 1986 to 2006, which reviews a database of 68 patients with diagnosis of head and neck ACC.<br /><br />RESULTS: We found eight cases of ACC of the tongue (11.7% of all head and neck ACCs). There were 7 female (87.5%) and 1 male (12.5%) patients, with an average age of 51 years (range 33 to 67 years). Seven patients were surgically treated, three of which required adjuvant treatment. Only one female patient did not accept treatment. Average follow-up time was 5.3 years. Metastases developed in 37% of cases during the follow-up period. Histopathologically, the cribriform pattern predominated (6/8 cases). All cases presented perineural invasion, and one patient also presented vascular invasion. c-kit positivity was observed in all cases. Global survival in the seven treated cases was 51% and 34% at 5 and 10 years, respectively, while the disease-free period was of 64% at 3 years and 42% at 10 years.<br /><br />CONCLUSION: ACC of the tongue is a rare neoplasm, in which early diagnosis is important because these are slowly-growing tumors that produce diffuse invasion. As the role of c-kit could not be assessed in this series, surgery continues to be the cornerstone of treatment and radiotherapy is indicated when surgical margins are compromised. Metastatic disease is still hard to handle because of the lack of adequate therapies for these tumors. Hence, survival has not changed in the last years.
Luna-Ortiz, K., Carmona-Luna, T., Cano-Valdez, A. M., Mosqueda-Taylor, A., Herrera-Gómez, A., & Villavicencio-Valencia, V. (2009). Adenoid cystic carcinoma of the tongue--clinicopathological study and survival analysis. Head & Neck Oncology, 1, 15. https://doi.org/10.1186/1758-3284-1-15