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01.12.2018 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Cancer 1/2018

Radiogenic angiosarcoma of the breast: case report and systematic review of the literature

BMC Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2018
Askin Dogan, Peter Kern, Beate Schultheis, Günther Häusler, Günther A. Rezniczek, Clemens B. Tempfer



Radiogenic angiosarcoma of the breast (RASB) is a rare late sequela of local irradiation of the breast or chest wall after breast cancer. The prognosis of women with RASB is poor and there is no standardized therapy for this type of malignancy.

Case presentation

We present the case of a 54 year old woman with RASB (poorly differentiated angiosarcoma of the left breast; pT1, pNX, M0, L0, V0) and a history of invasive-ductal cancer of the left breast (pT1b, G2, pN0, ER positive, PR positive, HER-2/neu negative) treated in July 2012 with breast-conserving surgery, adjuvant chemotherapy with 6 cycles of epirubicin and cyclophosphamide, adjuvant irradiation of the left breast with 50 Gray, and adjuvant endocrine therapy with an aromatase inhibitor. In August 2016, a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy was performed to remove a tumor of the left ovary, which was diagnosed as breast cancer recurrence. At the same time, a small, purple skin lesion of 1.2 cm in diameter was noted in the inner upper quadrant of the right breast. RASB was diagnosed by punch biopsy and the tumor was excised with clear margins. Imaging studies showed no evidence of further metastases. A systemic chemotherapy with 6 cycles of liposomal doxorubicin was initiated. Five months later, a local recurrence of RASB was diagnosed and mastectomy was performed. Six months later, the patient is alive with no evidence of disease.
Three hundred seven cases of RASB were identified. The pooled incidence rate of RASB was 1/3754 women. The most common treatment of RASB was mastectomy in 83% of cases. Adjuvant radiotherapy or chemotherapy were rarely used with 6 and 4%, respectively, whereas in case of recurrence, chemotherapy was the mainstay of treatment, used in 58% of cases. Radiotherapy and repeated surgery were also common with 30 and 33% of cases, respectively. Overall, the prognosis of women with RASB was poor and the recurrence-free survival was short with a mean of 15.9 months. Mean overall survival was 27.4 months.


RASB is a rare late complication of breast irradiation. The prognosis of women with RASB is poor. Surgery is the mainstay of treatment for localized disease while systemic chemotherapy and re-irradiation are appropriate for women with disseminated or recurrent RASB.
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