Radiation-induced angiosarcoma

Dermatol Online J. 2013 Jan 15;19(1):2.


Background: Radiation-induced angiosarcomas are uncommon adverse sequelae related to treatment of tumors. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to successful management.

Purpose: The purpose of this case study is to describe the clinical characteristics of radiation-induced angiosarcomas.

Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical literature using PubMed, searching the terms angiosarcoma, breast, post, radiation, and treatment. Patient reports and previous reviews of the subject were critically assessed and the salient features are presented.

Results: Approximately one hundred patients have been diagnosed with radiation-induced angiosarcomas. The condition presents within the radiation field, approximately six years after initial treatment. We describe the dramatic efficacious response of our patient's angiosarcoma to adjuvant chemotherapy both preoperatively (gemcitabine and docetaxel) and postoperatively (gemcitabine and docetaxel followed by ifosfamide and adriamycin).

Conclusion: We recommend that new skin lesions within or adjacent to radiation ports should be considered for biopsy. Also, for lesions that are larger, ill-defined, or both, several sites should be sampled to ensure an accurate diagnosis and to prevent the possibility of a false negative interpretation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Hemangiosarcoma / etiology
  • Hemangiosarcoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / pathology*
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*