Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

, Volume 142, Issue 6, pp 1387–1394 | Cite as

Cutaneous angiosarcoma of the head and face: a single-center analysis of treatment outcomes in 43 patients in Japan

  • Takamichi ItoEmail author
  • Hiroshi Uchi
  • Takeshi Nakahara
  • Gaku Tsuji
  • Yoshinao Oda
  • Akihito Hagihara
  • Masutaka Furue
Original Article – Clinical Oncology



For a better understanding of angiosarcoma, we summarized our 30-year experience of conventional treatment outcomes before the era of molecular-targeted therapy.


We conducted a retrospective review of our 43 patients with cutaneous angiosarcoma of the head and face, and investigated the prognostic factors including the treatment strategy. Disease-specific survival (DSS) and event-free survival (EFS) were estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method, together with multivariate analyses using the Cox proportional hazard regression model.


All patients were Japanese (25 males and 18 females), with a mean age of 72.1. For the initial treatment of the primary lesion, 34 patients underwent radiotherapy with or without taxanes (docetaxel and/or paclitaxel); only 6 patients underwent surgical excision. As the systemic adjuvant therapy, 19 patients were treated with taxanes and 15 with interleukin-2. Interestingly, patients who underwent the continued chemotherapy with taxanes had significantly prolonged DSS (5-year DSS, 57.0 vs. 19.6 %; median survival, 62.2 vs. 17.7 months; P = 0.0049) and EFS (5-year EFS, 34.9 vs. 5.6 %; median survival, 46.7 vs. 12.4 months; P = 0.0024) than the others. The continuous use of taxanes was also a prognostic factor in multivariate analyses. Neither radiotherapy nor surgical excision significantly influenced the patients’ outcome. Among five patients who survived more than 5 years, three underwent surgical excision of the primary tumor or lung metastasis.


Our results suggest that continued chemotherapy with taxanes is important for patient survival.


Angiosarcoma Skin Prognostic factor Taxane Treatment Pazopanib 



The authors thank all of the patients and the members of our laboratory. This work was partly supported by Grants from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the Research on Development of New Drugs from Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), and the Leading Advanced Projects for Medical Innovation (LEAP).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study, formal consent is not required. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takamichi Ito
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hiroshi Uchi
    • 1
  • Takeshi Nakahara
    • 1
    • 3
  • Gaku Tsuji
    • 1
  • Yoshinao Oda
    • 2
  • Akihito Hagihara
    • 4
  • Masutaka Furue
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology, Graduate School of Medical SciencesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Anatomic Pathology, Graduate School of Medical SciencesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  3. 3.Division of Skin Surface Sensing, Graduate School of Medical SciencesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  4. 4.Department of Health Services Management and Policy, Graduate School of Medical SciencesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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