, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 1267-1274
Date: 06 Dec 2012

Long-Term Outcomes in Patients with Radiation-Associated Angiosarcomas of the Breast Following Surgery and Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer

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Radiation-associated angiosarcoma (RAAS) is a devastating disease occasionally observed in breast cancer patients treated with radiation. Due to its rarity, our knowledge—of disease risk factors, epidemiology, treatment, and outcome—is extremely limited. Therefore, we sought to identify clinicopathologic factors associated with local and distant recurrence and disease-specific survival (DSS).


Radiation-associated angiosarcoma was defined as pathologically confirmed breast or chest wall angiosarcoma arising within a previously irradiated field. A comprehensive search of our institutional tumor registry (1/1/93 through 2/28/11) was used to identify patients (n = 95 females). Patient, original tumor, RAAS treatment, and outcome variables were retrospectively retrieved and assembled into a database.


The median follow-up for all RAAS patients was 10.3 (range, 2.4–31.8) years. The latency period following radiation exposure ranged from 1.4 to 26 (median, 7) years. One-year and 5-year DSS rates were 93.5 and 62.6 %, respectively. Reduced risk of local recurrence was observed in patients who received chemotherapy (P = 0.0003). In multivariable analysis, size was found to be an independent predictor of adverse outcome (P = 0.015).


Our study demonstrates that RAAS exhibits high recurrence rates. It also highlights the need for well-designed, multicenter, clinical trials to inform the true utility of chemotherapy in this disease.