Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Breast Cancer Res. 2010;12(4):R54. doi: 10.1186/bcr2613. Epub 2010 Jul 23.

Adenoid cystic carcinoma of the breast in the United States (1977 to 2006): a population-based cohort study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Medical Service (111), 921 NE 13th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA.



Adenoid cystic carcinoma of the breast (breast-ACC) is a rare and special type of basal-like tumor for which scant population-based descriptive data exist. We sought to provide new population-based information on breast-ACC incidence, relative survival, and associated cancer risk in the United States.


Using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program, we calculated age-adjusted incidence rates (IRs), IR ratios (IRRs), and relative survival for breast-ACC, and standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) for other cancers.


Overall 338 women (IR = 0.92/1 million person-years) were diagnosed with breast-ACC during 1977 to 2006. Blacks had 39% lower IRs than Whites (IRR = 0.61, 95% confidence interval = 0.37 to 0.96), and IRs remained constant over the 30-year period. Ninety-five percent of cases presented with localized stage (n = 320; IR = 0.87), and the highest IRs were observed for estrogen receptor (ER)-negative/progesterone receptor (PR)-negative tumors (IR = 0.56). Like other typically ER-negative tumors, age-specific IRs increased until midlife and then plateaued. Five-year, 10-year, and 15-year relative survival was 98.1%, 94.9%, and 91.4%, respectively. The risk of female breast cancer was not increased following (SIR = 0.89, 95% confidence interval = 0.43 to 1.64) or preceding (SIR = 0.71, 95% confidence interval = 0.28 to 1.46) breast-ACC. Similarly, no association was observed for breast-ACC and risk of all other cancers combined, solid tumors, or lymphohematopoietic malignancies.


Breast-ACC among women is characterized by ER-negative/PR-negative expression, rare regional lymph node involvement, a favorable prognosis with excellent survival, and absence of associated cancers. These findings reinforce the importance of tailored treatments for breast-ACC and lend credence to the apparent heterogeneity of basal-like breast cancers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk