What is the role of chemotherapy in the treatment of angiosarcoma of the scalp?

Updated: Jan 03, 2020
  • Author: Jonathan S Zager, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Gregory Gary Caputy, MD, PhD, FICS  more...
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The role of adjuvant chemotherapy in treating angiosarcoma is poorly defined. In a series from the University of California-Los Angeles, 4 of 6 patients who underwent surgery and received radiation and chemotherapy were disease free. [22] Other investigators have concluded that in patients with nonextremity soft-tissue sarcoma, adjuvant chemotherapy offers no statistically significant benefit for survival.

One agent that appears to have substantial activity is paclitaxel. In one study, a response rate of 89% was seen in patients with angiosarcoma of the scalp or face, even in patients previously treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Additionally, a 2004 case report described that weekly administration of docetaxel induced complete remission in a patient with local recurrence and pulmonary metastasis. [10, 28]

Other investigators have examined the use of intra-arterial chemotherapy using pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in combination with intralesional injections of interferon alfa (IFN-alfa). [29] This treatment strategy may be a promising innovative therapeutic option for localized scalp angiosarcoma.

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