Outcomes after definitive treatment for head and neck angiosarcoma.

Irawati N, Moghadam A, Abdul-Razak M, Strach M, Elliott M, Ch’ng S, Shannon K, Palme CE, Clark J, Wykes J, Low TH. ANZ J Surg. 2022 Jun;92(6):1407-1414. doi: 10.1111/ans.17695. Epub 2022 May 9. PMID: 35531880.



Introduction: Head and neck angiosarcoma (HN-AS) is a rare and aggressive, representing <1% of all head and neck malignancies. It is characterized by a high rate of local recurrence and poor 5-year survival (10-54%). Australian data in this rare disease is lacking. We aim review the clinical outcomes of HN-AS from two high volume head and neck cancer units in Australia.

Methods: Retrospective chart review.

Results: A total 26 patients were identified, consist of predominantly male patients (81%) with a mean age of 77 year old. Most of the HN-AS arises from the scalp (62%). The 5-year overall survival (OS) and disease free survival (DFS) were 41% and 15%, respectively. Patients treated with upfront surgery with adjuvant therapy has better OS and DFS compared with patients receiving upfront chemoradiotherapy (median OS 3.63 vs. 0.53 years, P = 0.011 and median DFS 1.19 vs. 0.33 years, P = 0.001). There is no difference in OS or DFS for the sites of HN-AS or age of patients. Recurrences were noted in 15 patients (57.7%). For those with metastatic disease, the most common site was the lung (80%) with a median time to development of distant disease of 2.7 years (range 1.8-3.6 years). In patients who underwent salvage treatment, the median survival (post-salvage) was 1.3 years (0-2.8 years).

Conclusion: This is the first Australian report of treatment patterns and outcomes of patients with HN-AS. Our cohort confirms that HN-AS is a slowly progressive disease with poor survival. Patients treated with surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy in this series had better outcomes compared with those treated with chemoradiotherapy alone. The role of neoadjuvant chemotherapy is an area of ongoing research.