Adrenocortical Carcinoma


Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare malignancy of the adrenal glands. ACC tumors are often quite large by the time they cause any symptoms.

The risk of an incidentally found adrenal tumor being an ACC is related to the size of the tumor:

  • 4-5% for tumors less than 4 cm in size
  • up to 10% for tumors 4-6 cm in size
  • greater than 25% in tumors greater than 6 cm in size

The primary treatment and the only chance for cure for ACC is complete resection (surgical removal) of the tumor within the adrenal gland, as well as all surrounding structures that may have been invaded by the cancer. Adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation may be used in some patients.

Because of the aggressive nature of this type of cancer, it is important that patients with ACC (or even those suspected of having ACC) are evaluated and treated quickly and by physicians who are experienced with treating this rare cancer. Here at University of Colorado, we have a multidisciplinary team dedicated to treating patients with ACC. This team includes endocrine surgeons, endocrinologists, and medical and radiation oncologists.


This information is provided by the Department of Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. It is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.