What is the role of immunomodulators 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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Answer

Evidence indicates that the poor prognosis in certain cancers may be associated with alterations in humoral and cellular immunity, and therapy with immunomodulators such as interferons and interleukins may be successful alternatives to chemotherapy. Ulrich et al reported on the long-term survival of an 88-year-old woman with angiosarcoma of the scalp using a combination of intralesional cytokines (ie, IFN-alfa and interleukin 2) and several courses of surface irradiation. [30] This combination therapy led to a 2-year remission of both the tumor and the ultrasonographically suspicious cervical lymph nodes in this patient, whose lesion was quite extensive (20 X 15 cm). Other investigators, however, have reported that tolerance of IFN-alfa is poor, and, when used alone, it does not appear to be an effective treatment of scalp angiosarcoma.


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