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Head Neck. 2008 May;30(5):639-46. doi: 10.1002/hed.20757.

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy-specific and overall treatment outcomes in patients with cutaneous angiosarcoma of the face with periorbital involvement.

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  • 1Section of Ophthalmology, Department of Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.



Recent isolated case reports have suggested a potential role for neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with angiosarcoma. The goal of this report was to investigate the overall treatment outcomes and the neoadjuvant chemotherapy-specific outcomes in patients with cutaneous angiosarcoma of the face with periorbital involvement.


Our tumor database was searched for patients with angiosarcoma and periorbital involvement seen at our institution between 1981 and 2005.


Twenty-one patients were identified,15 of whom had neoadjuvant chemotherapy and 6 of whom had a traditional approach of surgery followed by adjuvant therapy. Fourteen of 15 patients who had neoadjuvant chemotherapy had complete clinical response. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy made definitive surgery unnecessary for 9 patients. The median disease-free interval for the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group was 11.8 months (mean, 38.1 months; range, 2.4-239.6 months). Nine of the 15 patients had recurrences. The time from end of treatment to recurrence ranged from 2.6 to 24.5 months (median, 12.7 months). Five of the 6 patients who had primary surgical resection followed by adjuvant radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy had a complete clinical response, and the median disease-free interval was 31.8 months (mean, 35.9 months; range, 2.7-85 months). Two later developed recurrences, one at 2.7 months and the other at 31.8 months after the end of treatment.


On the basis of this series, the authors conclude that neoadjuvant chemotherapy for periorbital angiosarcoma is a potentially attractive option and in some patients may obviate the need for major surgery, thereby preserving the eye and/or ocular adnexal structures. Given the propensity for recurrence and poor survival, the authors strongly recommend that these patients receive multidisciplinary evaluation and treatment at a major cancer center.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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