Treatment Options

Treatment and prognosis for Hemangiosarcoma vary by location.

Cutaneous Hemangiosarcoma:
This is often curable with surgery alone, provided the lesion is small and confined to the dermis. Cutaneous Hemangiosarcoma often occur in areas of glabrous skin on lightly pigmented dogs and arise as a result of sunlight exposure. Lesions that are larger or deeper may be either primary or metastatic lesions and warrant more aggressive treatment.

Subcutaneous, Splenic or Atrial Hemangiosarcoma:
This consists of surgical excision of the primary tumor and adjuvant chemotherapy.  Recommended chemotherapy for Hemangiosarcoma is single-agent doxorubicin, intravenously given every 3 weeks. Use of an indwelling catheter is important because of the catastrophic tissue slough that occurs after doxorubicin extravasation. Owners should be warned of the potential of cardiotoxicity. A total of 4-6 doses of doxorubicin are recommended.

Median survival time after surgery alone is reported to be 2-3 months, with the addition of chemotherapy increasing the median survival time to 4-6 months. 

Dogs with splenic Hemangiosarcoma that have ruptured may have a poorer prognosis than those not ruptured. Currently several drugs are being investigated for their antiangiogenic properties, and may be useful for treatment of Hemangiosarcoma in the future.

Follow-up for Hemangiosarcoma should include monthly thoracic radiographs and physical examinations.