Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma: Latest Research

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 09/2017

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done now to learn more about this type of cancer and how to treat it. Use the menu to see other pages. 

Research for AdCC is ongoing. The following advances may still be under investigation in clinical trials and may not be approved or available at this time. Always talk with your health care team about the best diagnostic and treatment options. 

  • Anti-angiogenesis research. Anti-angiogenesis therapy is a type of targeted therapy. It is focused on stopping angiogenesis, which is the process of making new blood vessels. Because a tumor needs the nutrients delivered by blood vessels to grow and spread, the goal of anti-angiogenesis therapies is to “starve” the tumor. Research is focused on how this type of therapy may benefit patients with AdCC. See below for more information on targeted therapies. 

  • Targeted therapies. Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the cancer’s specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. Currently, targeted therapies are being developed that may be useful in the treatment of AdCC. In particular, research continues to determine the molecular mechanism that regulates the spread of AdCC along the nerves. Research is being done about the specifically looking into NOTCH1 gene mutations. These gene mutations may help doctors understand how the disease will respond to targeted therapy.  Learn more about targeted treatments

  • Pathology for diagnosis. Doctors are looking at new ways to better diagnose this cancer. This will help doctors to provide more specific treatment plans based on what they learn. Researchers are looking at the rearrangement of the gene MYP as well as immunophenotyping testing for p63 and p40. These help to show whether a tumor is AdCC or basal cell adenocarcinoma.

  • Chemotherapy. Several clinical trials are examining the effects of newer drugs alone, or in combination with other drugs, in the control of metastatic or locally recurrent AdCC. 

  • Palliative care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current AdCC treatments to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life. 

Looking for More About the Latest Research? 

If you would like additional information about the latest areas of research regarding AdCC, explore these related items that take you outside of this guide: 

The next section in this guide is Coping with Treatment. It offers some guidance in how to cope with the physical, emotional, and social changes that cancer and its treatment can bring. You may use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.