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Angiosarcoma of the Breast: A Rare Clinicopathological Entity

Biswas, Tithi MD*; Tang, Ping MD; Muhs, Ann BA*; Ling, Marilyn MD*

American Journal of Clinical Oncology: December 2009 - Volume 32 - Issue 6 - p 582-586
doi: 10.1097/COC.0b013e3181967f09
Original Article: Breast

Objectives: Angiosarcoma is a rare subtype of sarcoma that usually arises after radiation therapy for primary breast cancer. Primary sarcomas of the breast are rare entities and account for less than 1% of all malignant breast neoplasms. We examine our institutional experience with angiosarcomas of the breast that were diagnosed and treated between 1996 and 2007.

Methods: To conduct a retrospective review, all female patients with a diagnosis of angiosarcoma of the breast were identified from our pathology database. Their hospital records were retrieved to gather information on treatment, tumor response, failure, and survival.

Results: A total of 8 patients were identified who had a histologically confirmed diagnosis of angiosarcoma of the breast. Median age was 70.3 years at diagnosis (range, 35.6–85.7 years). Seven (87%) patients had a history of prior radiation to the breast, whereas 1 (13%) had primary angiosarcoma. The median overall survival was 37.4 months (8.7–92.8 months) and relapse-free survival was 17.9 months (2.5–69.4 months).

Conclusions: Even though angiosarcomas are rare neoplasms, they are increasingly recognized as the result of more breast-conserving therapy. High clinical suspicion and MRI may contribute to early diagnosis but a biopsy is always necessary to confirm it. These tumors tend to behave aggressively and require a multidisciplinary approach to improve the outcome.

From the Departments of *Radiation Oncology and †Pathology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York.

Reprints: Tithi Biswas, MD, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Ave., Box 647, Rochester, NY 14642. E-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.