Stewart-Treves syndrome--treatment and outcome in six patients from a single centre

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2004 Nov;30(9):982-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2004.07.027.


Aims: Stewart-Treves syndrome is an angiosarcoma associated with long-standing lymphoedema, most commonly seen as a rare complication of breast cancer treatment, and is associated with a poor outcome. We present results from six patients supporting the use of early radical surgery to improve prognosis.

Methods: Six patients with Stewart-Treves syndrome were diagnosed and treated at our centre over an 11-year period. Five patients had forequarter amputation and the sixth had a through-hip amputation.

Results: Four of the six patients are alive and well following surgery (at 3, 16, 23, and 135 months after amputation); one patient died from metastatic disease at 15 months and the second died due to an unrelated malignancy.

Conclusion: Early diagnosis and treatment by radical ablative surgery confers a reasonable prognosis with this rare but aggressive disease. A nihilistic approach is unjustified.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amputation, Surgical*
  • Arm / surgery
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Hemangiosarcoma / secondary
  • Hemangiosarcoma / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Leg / surgery
  • Lymphedema / surgery
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Syndrome
  • Treatment Outcome