Additive value of transarterial embolization to systemic sirolimus treatment in kaposiform hemangioendothelioma

Richard Brill, Wibke Uller, Veronika Huf, René Müller-Wille, Irene Schmid, Alexandra Pohl, Beate Häberle, Sybille Perkowski, Katrin Funke, Anne Marie Till, Melchior Lauten, Jacob Neumann, Christian Güttel, Esther Heid, Franziska Ziermann, Axel Schmid, Dieter Hüsemann, Lutz Meyer, Peter B. Sporns, Regina SchinnerVanessa F. Schmidt, Jens Ricke, Jochen Rössler, Friedrich G. Kapp, Walter A. Wohlgemuth, Moritz Wildgruber*

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Kaposiform hemangioendothelioma (KHE) is a rare vascular tumor in children, which can be accompanied by life-threatening thrombocytopenia, referred to as Kasabach-Merritt phenomenon (KMP). The mTOR inhibitor sirolimus is emerging as targeted therapy in KHE. As the sirolimus effect on KHE occurs only after several weeks, we aimed to evaluate whether additional transarterial embolization is of benefit for children with KHE and KMP. Seventeen patients with KHE and KMP acquired from 11 hospitals in Germany were retrospectively divided into two cohorts. Children being treated with adjunct transarterial embolization and systemic sirolimus, and those being treated with sirolimus without additional embolization. Bleeding grade as defined by WHO was determined for all patients. Response of the primary tumor at 6 and 12 months assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), time to response of KMP defined as thrombocyte increase >150 × 103/μL, as well as rebound rates of both after cessation of sirolimus were compared. N = 8 patients had undergone additive embolization to systemic sirolimus therapy, sirolimus in this group was started after a mean of 6.5 ± 3 days following embolization. N = 9 patients were identified who had received sirolimus without additional embolization. Adjunct embolization induced a more rapid resolution of KMP within a median of 7 days vs 3 months; however, tumor response as well as rebound rates were similar between both groups. Additive embolization may be of value for a more rapid rescue of consumptive coagulopathy in children with KHE and KMP compared to systemic sirolimus only.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)2345-2351
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.05.2021

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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