Cutaneous angiosarcoma

Am J Clin Oncol. 2006 Oct;29(5):524-8. doi: 10.1097/01.coc.0000227544.01779.52.


Objective: To discuss the treatment and outcomes for cutaneous angiosarcoma.

Methods: Review of the pertinent literature.

Results: Cutaneous angiosarcoma is a rare, aggressive malignancy with a poor prognosis. It usually arises in the scalp or face and is locally advanced at presentation. Patients are most often white, male, and elderly. A subset of patients presents with multifocal disease and/or positive regional nodes. Although the optimal treatment is surgery followed by wide-field radiotherapy (RT), the disease is frequently so extensive at diagnosis that it is not completely resectable. Even after optimal local-regional treatment, there is a relatively high likelihood of a local recurrence at the margins of the RT fields. The probability of hematogenous dissemination is relatively high. Limited data suggest that chemotherapy may be useful for palliation with progression-free survival rates ranging from 1 to 5 months. The 5-year local-regional control rates are approximately 40% to 50%, the 5-year distant metastasis-free survival rates range from 20% to 40%, and the 5-year survival rates range from 10% to 30%.

Conclusion: Cutaneous angiosarcoma is a rare, aggressive malignancy that is optimally treated with resection and wide-field postoperative RT. The likelihood of local-regional failure is high, as is the risk of distant relapse. Chemotherapy may be useful for short-term palliation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Hemangiosarcoma / diagnosis
  • Hemangiosarcoma / etiology
  • Hemangiosarcoma / mortality
  • Hemangiosarcoma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / mortality
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy*