Between 1962 and 1982, 45 patients with adenoid cystic carcinomas (ACC) of various localizations received a radiotherapy-treatment. Most of the cases had advanced tumors or recurrences. 41 patients underwent radiotherapy either alone or following an operation, in 35 cases with curative intention. 6 patients had already distant metastases at the beginning of treatment. In 4 cases only a palliative treatment of metastases of the skeleton and the lung was performed. Median two- and five-year survival of 35 patients with localized tumors was 83% and 45%, respectively (29/35 two-years and 14/31 five years). Best results were obtained by operation and postoperative radiotherapy (10/18 = 55.5% five year-survival). Radiotherapy alone resulted in a five-year survival of only 37.5% (3/8). Advanced ACC or postoperative recurrences should be treated by surgery as radically as possible, followed by a radiotherapy with generously sized portals and doses between 60 to 65 Gy. Radiotherapy alone leads to comparatively poor results. Large and inoperable tumors may well be treated by a combination of hyperthermia and radiotherapy.