Purpose: To present medical history of secondary chest wall and breast angiosarcomas (AS) developed after radiotherapy, and to discuss the questions of radiogenic origin, diagnosis and treatment by the review of the literature. Methods: Report of two cases and MEDLINE search for relevant publications. Results: Secondary AS occured in a previously irradiated field after a long (6 and 8 years) latency period in both cases. Detailed histopathological and immunohistochemical examinations from the biopsy and/or surgical specimens confirmed the diagnosis as AS. The first patient with moderately differentiated AS was treated successfully with radical surgery. The second patient with irresecable AS died of rapid local progression within 4 months. The incidence of chest wall and breast AS is increased after irradiation, however, controversial data exist in the literature. The incidence of chest wall and breast AS after radiotherapy was found to be 0.39% in our patient population, which means an estimated odds ratio of 2.4 for secondary AS. Stewart-Treves syndrome is not of radiogenic origin, since postoperative lymphoedema has been considered as primary etiological factor. Conclusions: Patients treated with surgery and/or radiotherapy for primary breast cancer are at higher risk for developing secondary AS, compared to the healthy population. An etiological relationship between radiotherapy and subsequent AS of chest wall and breast is likely, but still controversial. Initial radical surgery is the only effective treatment for achieving long term survival. Further adjuvant radiotherapy is no longer feasible, due to the previous irradiation. Chemotherapy has only palliative effect. These very rare cases deserve special attention due to the atypical clinical appearance, difficulties of differential diagnosis and poor prognosis.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas