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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Microcystic adnexal carcinoma

Other Names for this Disease
  • MAC
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Your Question

I have already had extensive surgery to remove a microcystic adnexal carcinoma from my forehead and eyelid.  Is radiation therapy recommended for this type of cancer?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Is radiation therapy a recommended treatment for microcystic adnexal carcinoma?

Unfortunately, because microcystic adnexal carcinoma is a rare cancer, there is currently not enough information to determine if radiation therapy is an effective treatment for this disease.  There are no guidelines for the use of radiation therapy as treatment for microcystic adnexal carcinoma, and little is known about the dose of radiation that might be needed to be effective.[1]  Two articles studying a total of 17 patients receiving radiation therapy for microcystic adnexal carcinoma have suggested that there may be a benefit of radiation therapy for decreasing the chances of the tumor regrowing (recurrence),[1][2] and the authors suggest that this treatment could be considered if there is evidence that cancer cells remain after surgery, or in situations where additional surgery cannot be done.[2]  However, another article raises concerns about the use of radiation therapy considering the small number of patients studied, the report of one patient's disease potentially worsening after radiation therapy, and the belief that exposure to radiation may be a risk factor for the initial development of this tumor.[3]
Last updated: 11/8/2011

  • Baxi S, Deb S, Weedon D, Baumann K, Poulsen M. Microcystic adnexal carcinoma of the skin: the role of adjuvant radiotherapy. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology. 2010; 54:477-482. Accessed 11/4/2011.
  • Pugh TJ, Lee NY, Pacheco T, Raben D. Microcystic adnexal carcinoma of the face treated with radiation therapy: A case report and review of the literature. Head & Neck. 2011; March:Epub ahead of print. Accessed 11/4/2011.
  • Wetter R, Goldstein GD. Microcystic adnexal carcinoma: a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. Dermatologic Therapy. 2008; 21:452-458. Accessed 11/4/2011.