Radiation associated atypical vascular lesions and angiosarcoma: Clinicopathological analysis of 42 cases

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
American Journal of Surgical Pathology (Impact Factor: 5.15). 09/2005; 29(8):983-96.
Source: PubMed


Cutaneous angiosarcoma is a rare but well-recognized complication after radiation therapy. Atypical post-radiation vascular lesions (AVLs) with a benign course have been described recently, but few cases with limited follow-up have been studied so far. A total of 42 cases diagnosed as either radiation-associated cutaneous vascular lesions or angiosarcoma were retrieved from departmental and consultation files from 1995 to 2003. Hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections and clinical as well as follow-up data were evaluated. All patients were female with a median age of 59 years (range, 36-90 years). Presentation ranged from small erythematous/violaceous papules or nodules to large plaques with discoloration located on the chest wall (35), abdomen (2), shoulder, groin, flank, axilla, and lower leg (1 each). Reasons for radiation included breast carcinoma (35 cases) and a variety of other lesions (mainly malignant disease). Size range was 0.1 to 20 cm. Angiosarcomas presented as larger lesions (median, 7.5 cm) compared with AVLs (median, 0.5 cm). The time interval from radiation was significantly shorter for the development of AVL (median, 3.5 years) compared with cutaneous angiosarcoma (median, 6 years). Histologic evaluation revealed 26 lesions meeting criteria for angiosarcoma, ranging from morphologically low-grade to high-grade; 16 cases were classified as AVLs. These were fairly well-circumscribed lesions confined within superficial to mid dermis and composed of complex anastomosing and focally dilated vascular spaces. Some showed prominent hyperchromatic endothelial cells, while others were characterized by areas with a dissecting growth pattern within dermal collagen. Endothelial multilayering was absent. Clinical follow-up, available for 36 patients (range, 2-84 months; median, 17 months), revealed 4 patients who died of disease, 4 patients had systemic metastasis, and 12 patients with local recurrence. All patients with systemic relapse had an initial diagnosis of angiosarcoma. One patient with an AVL had a recurrence at the same site, 3 patients developed additional new lesions, and 1 patient developed multiple small papules on the chest wall, which progressed from an AVL to angiosarcoma. This study outlines the morphologic spectrum of radiation-associated cutaneous AVLs. No adverse outcome has been observed so far in this more benign subset of cases, but longer-term follow-up is necessary.

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    • "In recent years, the spectrum of vascular proliferations associated with RT in the setting of BC has expanded, including radiation-associated atypical vascular lesions (AVLs) of the breast skin as a rare, but well-recognized, entity [9] [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Breast angiosarcomas (BAs) are rare but serious events that may arise after radiation exposure. Disease outcome is poor, with high risk of local and distant failure. Recurrences are frequent also after resection with negative margins. The spectrum of vascular proliferations associated with radiotherapy in the setting of breast cancer has expanded, including radiation-associated atypical vascular lesions (AVLs) of the breast skin as a rare, but well-recognized, entity. Although pursuing a benign behavior, AVLs have been regarded as possible precursors of postradiation BAs. We report an unusual case of a 71-year-old woman affected by well-differentiated bilateral cutaneous BA, diagnosed 1.9 years after adjuvant RT for synchronous bilateral breast cancer. Whole-life clinical followup is of crucial importance in breast cancer patients.
    Case Reports in Oncological Medicine 03/2014; 2014(4):413030. DOI:10.1155/2014/413030
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    • "In our breast angiosarcoma cases, RAA were more often cutaneous in origin (80%), while SA were more often parenchymal in origin (80%). These findings, consistent with data from previous studies, support the dermal origin of breast RAA compared to the parenchymal origin of breast SA [4] [8] [24]. Gladdy et al. examined the prognostic significance of histologic type in radiation-associated soft tissue sarcomas [28]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Angiosarcomas are aggressive tumors of vascular endothelial origin, occurring sporadically or in association with prior radiotherapy. We compared clinicopathologic and biologic features of sporadic angiosarcomas (SA) and radiation-associated angiosarcomas (RAA). Methods. From a University of Michigan institutional database, 37 SA and 11 RAA were identified. Tissue microarrays were stained for p53, Ki-67, and hTERT. DNA was evaluated for TP53 and ATM mutations. Results. Mean latency between radiotherapy and diagnosis of RAA was 11.9 years: 6.7 years for breast RAA versus 20.9 years for nonbreast RAA (P = 0.148). Survival after diagnosis did not significantly differ between SA and RAA (P = 0.590). Patients with nonbreast RAA had shorter overall survival than patients with breast RAA (P = 0.03). The majority of SA (86.5%) and RAA (77.8%) were classified as high-grade sarcomas (P = 0.609). RAA were more likely to have well-defined vasoformative areas (55.6% versus 27%, P = 0.127). Most breast SA were parenchymal in origin (80%), while most breast RAA were cutaneous in origin (80%). TMA analysis showed p53 overexpression in 25.7% of SA and 0% RAA, high Ki-67 in 35.3% of SA and 44.4% RAA, and hTERT expression in 100% of SA and RAA. TP53 mutations were detected in 13.5% of SA and 11.1% RAA. ATM mutations were not detected in either SA or RAA. Conclusions. SA and RAA are similar in histology, immunohistochemical markers, and DNA mutation profiles and share similar prognosis. Breast RAA have a shorter latency period compared to nonbreast RAA and a significantly longer survival.
    Sarcoma 09/2013; 2013:798403. DOI:10.1155/2013/798403
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    • "Differentiation of AVL from Angiosarcoma is important. Size is especially important in diagnosis since most AVLs are small (median size—0.5 cm), while angiosarcomas are usually much larger (median size—7.5 cm) [2]. As per Fineberg and Rosen's histologic criteria of assessment in their study, AVLs typically lack multilayering of endothelial cells, prominent nucleoli, mitoses, and hemorrhage. "
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    ABSTRACT: The spectrum of vascular lesions developing in breast or chest wall skin following lumpectomy or mastectomy and radiation is wide and ranges from atypical vascular lesions with a benign clinical behaviour to frankly malignant, angiosarcoma ranging histologically from well to poorly differentiated variety. Postmastectomy-postirradiation atypical vascular lesions (AVLs) are rare and develop in the skin adjacent to the mastectomy scar. About hundred cases have been reported in the literature so far. AVLs have also been reported in patients after breast conservation surgery within the breast parenchyma or in the skin around the scar. The incidence appears to be rising. The exact reason for this is not known. The newer modalities of radiation therapy may be contributory to the pathogenesis. More studies have to be done in this area to prove the causal relationship. We are reporting the cases of 2 patients with carcinoma of breast who developed postmastectomy-postirradiation atypical vascular lesions. The cases were received in our department within a 6-month period.
    09/2012; 2012:710318. DOI:10.1155/2012/710318
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