NCI Definition: A malignant tumor arising from the epithelial cells. Microscopically, the neoplastic epithelial cells form cylindrical spatial configurations (cribriform or classic type of adenoid cystic carcinoma), cordlike structures (tubular type of adenoid cystic carcinoma), or solid structures (basaloid variant of adenoid cystic carcinoma). Adenoid cystic carcinomas mostly occur in the salivary glands. Other primary sites of involvement include the lacrimal gland, the larynx, and the lungs. Adenoid cystic carcinomas spread along nerve sheaths, resulting in severe pain, and they tend to recur. Lymph node metastases are unusual; hematogenous tumor spread is characteristic. [1]

Adenoid cystic carcinomas most frequently harbor alterations in NOTCH1, BCOR, KDM6A, ARID1A, and MYB [2].

Most Commonly Altered Genes in Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma

NOTCH1fs, NOTCH1 Mutation, BCOR Mutation, TP53 Mutation, and MYB-NFIB Fusion are the most common alterations in adenoid cystic carcinoma [2].

Top Alterations in Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma

Significant Genes in Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma






Disease Details

Adenocystic Carcinoma, Unknown primary adenoid cystic carcinoma, adenoid cystic cancer, Metastatic adenoid cystic carcinoma, Cylindroid Adenocarcinoma
Cervical Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, Prostate Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, Tracheal Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic Skin Carcinoma, Bartholin Gland Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, Lacrimal Gland Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, Head and Neck Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, Esophageal Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic Breast Carcinoma, and Lung Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma


1. National Cancer Institute. NCI Thesaurus Version 18.11d. https://ncit.nci.nih.gov/ncitbrowser/ [2018-08-28]. [2018-09-21].

2. The AACR Project GENIE Consortium. AACR Project GENIE: powering precision medicine through an international consortium. Cancer Discovery. 2017;7(8):818-831. Dataset Version 8. This dataset does not represent the totality of the genetic landscape; see paper for more information.

3. All assertions and clinical trial landscape data are curated from primary sources. You can read more about the curation process here.