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Mod Pathol. 2013 Aug;26(8):1032-40. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2013.43. Epub 2013 Apr 5.

Expression of angiopoietin-TIE system components in angiosarcoma.

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Department of Pathology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA.


Angiosarcoma is an aggressive malignancy of endothelial differentiation. Potential roles of the endothelial angiopoietin-tunica interna endothelial cell kinase (ANGPT-TIE) system in angiosarcoma diagnosis, pathogenesis, prognosis and treatment are undefined. To examine the expression and prognostic significance of angiopoietin-1, angiopoietin-2, TIE1 and TEK (TIE2) proteins in angiosarcoma, we immunohistochemically evaluated clinically annotated human angiosarcoma samples. Correlations of protein expression with overall survival and pathological features were explored. The cohort included 51 patients diagnosed with angiosarcoma at the age of 30-86 years (median 67). The 5-year overall survival was 45% with a median of 26 months. Moderate to strong expression of angiopoietin-1, TIE1 and TEK (TIE2) was identified in the majority of angiosarcomas and moderate to strong expression of angiopoietin-2 was observed in 42% of angiosarcomas. Increased angiopoietin-1 expression correlated with improved survival. Non-significant trends toward longer survival were also observed with increased TIE1 and TEK (TIE2) expression. Increased expression of angiopoietin-2, TIE1 and TEK (TIE2) was associated with vasoformative architecture. No differences in expression of these proteins were observed when patients were segregated by age, gender, presence or absence of metastases at diagnosis, primary tumor location, radiation association or the presence of necrosis. We conclude that components of the ANGPT-TIE system are commonly expressed in angiosarcomas. Reduced expression of these proteins is associated with non-vasoformative and clinically more aggressive lesions.

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