Nineteen patients, nine men and 10 women, with advanced adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC), were treated with cisplatin either alone or in combination with doxorubicin and bleomycin. Median age was 51 years (range: 32-73 years). Two groups of patients were distinguished: Group 1 (N = 10) received single-agent cisplatin (50-120 mg/m2 IV every 4 weeks) for locoregional recurrence (N = 4), pulmonary metastases (N = 5), or as neoadjuvant therapy (N = 1). Five patients failed previous chemotherapy. No objective responses were observed, five patients showed stabilization of their disease for a median duration of 20 months (range: 3-50 months). Group 2 (N = 9) received a combination of cisplatin (20 mg/m2 IV on days 1-5), doxorubicin (50 mg/m2 IV on day 1), and bleomycin (30 mg IV on days 1-5), every 3 weeks. A complete remission (CR) was seen in one patient, lasting for 2 years, a partial remission (PR) in two patients (duration: 6 months and 6 years) (33%), and a stable disease (SD) in five patients (median duration: 15 months; range 3-24 months). One patient showed progression from the start. The observed toxicity was acceptable: dose reduction was required in five patients for myelosuppression or impairment of renal function; vomiting grade III (WHO) was seen in 10 patients. The median progression-free survival was 36 months (range: 7-77 months). Median overall survival was 81 months (range: 14-216 months). The role of cisplatin in this disease remains questionable. © 1992 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.