Cytotoxic Chemotherapy in Kaposi’s Sarcoma
Kaposi’s sarcoma, recognized in the Western Hemisphere as an indolent malignant cutaneous disease affecting primarily elderly males of Jewish extraction, has in recent years been the principle malignancy associated with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The wide-spread cutaneous lesions are frequently associated with viseral involvement, particularly in the pulmonary and gastrointestinal systems. The early cutaneous manifestations of Kaposi’s sarcoma appear to respond to the administration of interferon. This biologic has not, however, afforded permanent control in this disease. A variety of chemotherapeutic regimens have been employed in an effort to control advanced cutaneous and viseral Kaposi’s sarcoma (1–7). The use of cytotoxic chemotherapy has resulted in a substantial percentage of partial and complete responses in the malignant lesions. The duration of both complete and partial responses has, however, proved disappointingly short. Another theoretical as well as practical disadvantage of cytotoxic chemotherapy, has been a further suppression of the immune system in the patient with AIDS. Although frequently difficult to quantitate, this appears to have resulted in a further increase in systemic life threatening infections by both common and opportunistic pathogens. Recent trials of chemotherapy employing both cytotoxic chemotherapy and biologic response modifiers, although too early to evaluate, seem to produce results similar to cytotoxic chemotherapy alone.
KeywordsAcquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Cytotoxic Chemotherapy Biologic Response Modifier Mixed Response Symptomatic Anemia
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