, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 569–582 | Cite as

Treatment of Kaposi’s Sarcoma

Current Guidelines and Future Perspectives
  • Donald W. Northfelt
Practical Therapeutics


Kaposi’s sarcoma is the most common malignancy associated with HIV infection, and the morbidity and mortality attributable to AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma (AIDS-KS) may be increasing. No curative therapy is available for AIDS-KS, but palliative therapy can eliminate or reduce cosmetically unacceptable lesions, reduce painful or unsightly oedema or lymphadenopathy, shrink symptomatic oral lesions and relieve symptoms caused by visceral involvement.

Strategies currently employed to treat the various clinical problems encountered in AIDS-KS include single- and multi-agent cytotoxic chemotherapy, treatment with interferon-α, radiotherapy, and other local therapies. Current clinical research is focusing on use of liposome-encapsulated cytotoxic agents and treatment with substances that inhibit angiogenesis.

Any treatment plan for AIDS-KS must be flexible and must be based on the patient’s overall clinical and immunological status as well as therapeutic goals. Limited local disease is usually amenable to treatment with local measures. Extensive, symptomatic AIDS-KS warrants systemic treatment. The response of mucocutaneous lesions to low dose systemic cytotoxic chemotherapy is typically excellent. Treatment with interferon-α may also be beneficial in this setting. Multi-agent chemotherapeutic regimens are usually reserved for treatment of patients most severely affected by AIDS-KS. It is hoped that liposome-encapsulated cytotoxic chemotherapy and antiangiogenic therapies will prove more effective and less toxic than the treatment strategies currently in use.


Doxorubicin Adis International Limited Bleomycin Vinblastine Visceral Involvement 
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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald W. Northfelt
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Hematology/ Oncology, Department of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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