Incidence, demographics, and survival of malignant hemangioendothelioma in the United States

Cancer Med. 2023 Jul;12(14):15101-15106. doi: 10.1002/cam4.6181. Epub 2023 Jun 1.


Background: Malignant hemangioendothelioma is an endothelial cancer with heterogeneous clinical behavior that can range from indolent to aggressive, of which the majority are epithelioid (EHE). Its incidence and demographics have not been previously well defined in a large cohort.

Methods: This retrospective analysis used the US Cancer Statistics National Program of Cancer Registries - Surveillance Epidemiology End Results (SEER) combined database to identify patients in the US newly diagnosed with hemangioendothelioma between the years of 2001 and 2017 (n = 1986). Survival analyses were performed on a subset of patients within the SEER-18 database with survival information available (n = 417). Outcomes included incidence, demographics of patients newly diagnosed with hemangioendothelioma, extent of disease at presentation, and overall survival.

Results: The incidence of hemangioendothelioma in the US is 0.4 cases per million person-years. Although cases rose to 122 newly diagnosed in the year 2017 (90 EHE, 32 other hemangioendothelioma), incidence rates were stable. Skin and connective tissues were the most common presenting sites (33.4%), followed by liver (24.5%), lung (17.6%), and bone (12.5%). Median age at diagnosis was 55 years; 27.2% of patients were pediatric, adolescent, or young adult (<40 years). At presentation, 36.4% of patients had localized disease; 21.6% presented with regional and 41.7% with distant metastases. Observed survival at 3 years was 79.7%, 70.7%, and 46.0% for patients presenting with local, regional, and distant disease and most deaths occurred within the first 2 years.

Conclusions: Malignant hemangioendothelioma is ultra-rare but meaningfully impacts affected patients. These data may provide benchmarks for comparison of new approaches to hemangioendothelioma therapy and highlight poor survival outcomes.

Keywords: EHE; SEER; USCS; epithelioid hemangioendothelioma; hemangioendothelioma; rare cancer; sarcoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Hemangioendothelioma* / epidemiology
  • Hemangioendothelioma* / pathology
  • Hemangioendothelioma, Epithelioid* / epidemiology
  • Hemangioendothelioma, Epithelioid* / pathology
  • Hemangiosarcoma* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult