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What is epithelioid hemangioendothelioma?
Epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EHE) is a rare vascular tumor or anomaly that’s not widely understood. Some describe it as a type of cancer, and in rare cases it can grow rapidly or spread to other parts of the body. But in most patients, EHE behaves as a benign vascular tumor, with periods of no growth that may last for years.
In some patients with more aggressive disease, EHE behaves like a low-grade (slow-growing) cancer. In patients with stable tumors, or tumors that shrink without treatment, EHE behaves more like a benign (non-cancerous) vascular tumor.
Because epithelioid hemangioendotheliomas are so rare, very few doctors have experience diagnosing and treating it. The Vascular Anomalies Center at Boston Children's has evaluated more children with EHE than any other hospital in the world. The first step in developing a treatment plan is having an accurate diagnosis. The VAC's physicians—representing 16 medical and surgical specialties, including radiologists and pathologists that specialize in diagnosing vascular anomalies —draw on those experiences to continually refine the therapies and achieve better long-term outcomes for children with EHE. Together, our team has the experience to make or confirm a diagnosis of EHE and recommend the best available treatment options.
The VAC takes an interdisciplinary approach to care with every child they see, whether the patient is initially reviewed at our conference or seen in clinic. It's not uncommon for children on their first visit to the clinic to be evaluated by a whole VAC team at the same time. From there, the team works with you to develop and carry out a comprehensive and coordinated care plan that matches your child's specific needs. The team brings the expertise of other Boston Children's departments and services as necessary to provide your child with the best care.
The VAC currently cares for many EHE patients from afar, seeing them in person on an infrequent basis but coordinating closely with providers close to their homes.
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