Adenoid cystic carcinoma

What causes adenoid cystic carcinoma?

The underlying cause of adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is not yet known, but it appears to develop from non-inherited, genetic changes that occur during a person's lifetime. These genetic changes are present only in the cancer cells, not in the cells with the genetic material that is passed on to offspring (the egg and sperm cells). The changes may be caused by exposures in a person's environment. However, no strong environmental risk factors specific to ACC have been identified. Unlike some other cancers of the head and neck, ACC is not linked to tobacco or alcohol use, or infection by the human papilloma virus (HPV).

There has been evidence that ACC tumor cells are associated with the presence of too much of a protein called “myb,” and with the p53 tumor suppressor gene. This gene normally limits cell growth by monitoring the rate at which cells divide. Research is under way to better understand how ACC develops.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is adenoid cystic carcinoma inherited?

Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is not considered to be an inherited cancer. Like most cancers, ACC appears to develop from genetic changes that are caused by something in a person's environment. In almost all reported cases, ACC has occurred sporadically in people with no family history of ACC. However, we are aware of two reports in the literature in which more than one family member had ACC. There has also been speculation about whether ACC may be associated with certain family cancer syndromes, but more research is needed to determine if an association exists.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Where To Start

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma

Cancer.Net, a resource from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, provides information about adenoid cystic carcinoma. Click on the above link to access this information.

Last updated on 04-27-20

Name: Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation P.O. Box 442
Needham, MA, 02494, United States
Phone: (781) 248-9699 Email: Url:
Name: Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Organization International P.O. Box 15482
San Diego, CA, 92175-5482, United States
Email: Url:
Name: The Oral Cancer Foundation 3419 Via Lido #205
Newport Beach, CA, 92663, United States
Phone: 949-646-8000 Email: Url:

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