Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma of the Lacrimal Gland: Rare … Lethal … Cured?

There are few more difficult conversations in ophthalmology than that between a surgeon and a patient with newly diagnosed adenoid cystic carcinoma of the lacrimal gland. The results of conventional treatment, most commonly orbital exenteration followed by intensive radiation therapy, are usually disheartening. Surgery is disfiguring and unilaterally blinding, and the chance of long-term survival is low. Poor outcomes are all the more distressing given the relatively young age of most patients (average age of 50 years at diagnosis).

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