Malignant vascular tumors in children and adolescents: A report from the Italian and German soft tissue sarcoma cooperative group

Andrea Ferrari, Michela Casanova, Gianni Bisogno, Giovanni Cecchetto, Cristina Meazza, Lorenza Gandola, Alberto Garaventa, Adrian Mattke, Jorn Treuner, Modesto Carli

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Background. Malignant vascular tumors are extremely rare in childhood and few data on their clinical management are available. We report on a series of 18 children who had malignant vascular tumors, treated from 1980 to 2000 by the Italian and German Soft Tissue Sarcoma Cooperative Group. Procedure. Twelve patients had angiosarcoma, four had malignant hemangioendothelioma, and two had Kaposi's sarcoma. Surgical resection was completed in six cases; radiotherapy was administered to 6 children, and chemotherapy to 14. Results. After a median follow-up of 208 months, the 5-year survival and event-free survival rates were 30.9 and 20.8%. Six patients were alive, four in first remission (three had tumor <5 cm, grossly completely resected), and two in second remission. Response to chemotherapy was evaluable in nine cases and was: six no response, two partial remission, one complete remission. Conclusions. Angiosarcoma and related malignant vascular tumors are aggressive neoplasms with a poor prognosis; their behavior in children seems no different from their adult counterparts. Complete surgical resection remains the mainstay of treatment, but is probably sufficient in only a minority of cases. Postoperative radiotherapy may have a role and could be added to improve local control. The role of chemotherapy is uncertain, but the high rate of metastatic spread prompts investigation into new chemotherapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-114
Number of pages6
JournalMedical and Pediatric Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Angiosarcoma
  • Children
  • Kaposis sarcoma
  • Malignant hemangioendothelioma
  • Malignant vascular tumor
  • Soft tissue sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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