Cutaneous apocrine adenocarcinoma: Defining epidemiology, outcomes, and optimal therapy for a rare neoplasm

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Background and Objectives

Apocrine adenocarcinoma is a rare neoplasm. There is a paucity of data on demographics and survival with no clear consensus on management of at risk lymph nodes, therefore, we analyzed a large cohort of patients identified via a national tumor registry.


Patients ages 17–91 from 1973 to 2006 were identified in the SEER registry and excluded breast and non-cutaneous neoplasms. Data analyzed included basic demographics, survival, surgical therapy, and stage.


A total of 186 patients with apocrine adenocarcinoma were identified. The median age was 67 years, 76% were white and there was an equal distribution of males and females. The most common site was trunk (53%) followed by head and neck (35%). Surgery was performed on most patients (96%), either excision (50%) or wide excision (30%). Lymph node metastases were present in 69% patients undergoing node surgery. Median overall survival was 51.5 months. Positive lymph node status (P=0.006) and metastatic disease (P<0.001) were associated with diminished overall survival.


Cutaneous apocrine adenocarcinoma is a rare neoplasm. Excision is standard treatment. The most important predictor of survival in localized disease is lymph node status; therefore, sentinel lymph node biopsy could be considered in management of this disease. J. Surg. Oncol. 2012;105:415–419. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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