Adrenocortical carcinoma in children: First population-based clinicopathological study with long-term follow-up

T.M.A. Kerkhofs*, M.H.T. Ettaieb, R.H.A. Verhoeven, G.J.L. Kaspers, W.J.E. Tissing, J. Loeffen, M.M. van den Heuvel-Eibrink, R.R. de Krijger, H.R. Haak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is rare in both adult and pediatric populations. Literature suggests significant differences between children and adults in presentation, histological properties and outcome. The aim of this first nationwide study on pediatric ACC was to describe the incidence, presentation, pathological characteristics, treatment and survival in The Netherlands. All ACC patients aged <20 years at diagnosis and registered in the population-based Netherlands Cancer Registry between 1993 and 2010 were included. Clinical data were extracted from medical records. Archival histological slides were collected via the Dutch Pathology Registry (PALGA). We compared our findings to all clinical studies on pediatric ACC that were found on PubMed. Based on the results, 12 patients were identified: 8 females and 4 males. The median age was 4.1 years (range 1.1-18.6). The population-based age-standardized incidence rate for patients <20 years was 0.18 per million person-years. Autonomous hormonal secretion was present in 10 patients. Seven patients were aged <= 4 years at diagnosis, 5 presented with localized disease and 2 with locally advanced disease. Five patients were aged >= 5 years, 3 presented with distant metastases and 1 with locally advanced disease. For all patients, histological examination displayed malignant characteristics. All patients aged <= 4 years at diagnosis survived; the median follow-up was 97 months (57-179 months). All patients aged >= 5 years died; the median survival was 6 months (0-38 months). Pediatric ACC is extremely rare in the Western world. The clinical outcome was remarkably better in patients aged <= 4 years. This is in accordance with less advanced stage of disease at presentation, yet contrasts with the presence of adverse histological characteristics. Clinical management in advanced disease is adapted from adult practice in the absence of evidence regarding pediatric ACC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2836-2844
Number of pages9
JournalOncology Reports
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • adrenocortical carcinoma
  • pediatrics
  • incidence
  • cancer registry
  • histological characteristics
  • long-term follow-up
  • MET 97 TRIAL

Cite this