Cutaneous angiosarcoma: The possibility of new treatment options especially for patients with large primary tumor

Yasuhiro Fujisawa, Koji Yoshino, Taku Fujimura, Yoshiyuki Nakamura, Naoko Okiyama, Yosuke Ishitsuka, Rei Watanabe, Manabu Fujimoto

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56 Citations (Scopus)


The most widely accepted treatment for cutaneous angiosarcoma (CAS) is wide local excision and postoperative radiation to decrease the risk of recurrence. Positive surgical margins and large tumors (T2, > 5 cm) are known to be associated with poor prognosis. Moreover, T2 tumors are known to be associated with positive surgical margins. According to previous reports, the majority of CAS patients in Japan had T2 tumors, whereas less than half of the patients in the studies from western countries did so. Consequently, the reported 5-year overall survival of Japanese CAS patients without distant metastasis was only 9%, lower than that for stage-IV melanoma. For patients with T2 tumors, management of subclinical metastasis should be considered when planning the initial treatment. Several attempts to control subclinical metastasis have been reported, such as using adjuvant/neoadjuvant chemotherapy in addition to conventional surgery plus radiation. Unfortunately, those attempts did not show any clinical benefit. Besides surgery, new chemotherapeutic approaches for advanced CAS have been introduced in the past couple of decades, such as paclitaxel and docetaxel. We proposed the use of chemoradiotherapy (CRT) using taxanes instead of surgery plus radiation for patients with T2 tumors without distant metastasis and showed a high response ratio with prolonged survival. However, this prolonged survival was seen only in patients who received maintenance chemotherapy after CRT, indicating that continuous chemotherapy is mandatory to control subclinical residual tumors. With the recent development of targeted drugs for cancer, many potential drugs for CAS are now available. Given that CAS expresses a high level of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor, drugs that target VEGF signaling pathways such as anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody and tyrosine kinase inhibitors are also promising, and several successful treatments have been reported. Besides targeted drugs, several new cytotoxic anticancer drugs such as eribulin or trabectedin have also been shown to be effective for advanced sarcoma. However, most of the clinical trials did not include a sufficient number of CAS patients. Therefore, clinical trials focusing only on CAS should be performed to evaluate the effectiveness of these new drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number46
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Issue numberMAR
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 2


  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • Angiosarcoma of the scalp
  • Concurrent chemoradiotherapy
  • Cutaneous angiosarcoma
  • Eribulin
  • Maintenance chemotherapy
  • Pazopanib
  • Taxanes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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