Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Blood. 2011 Jun 30;117(26):6977-86. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-11-317610. Epub 2011 Apr 12.

High-dose zidovudine plus valganciclovir for Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus-associated multicentric Castleman disease: a pilot study of virus-activated cytotoxic therapy.

Author information

  • 1HIV and AIDS Malignancy Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, MD, USA.


Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV)-associated multicentric Castleman disease (MCD) is a lymphoproliferative disorder most commonly observed in HIV-infected patients. It is characterized by KSHV-infected plasmablasts that frequently express lytic genes. Patients manifest inflammatory symptoms attributed to overproduction of KSHV viral IL-6, human IL-6, and human IL-6. There is no standard therapy and no established response criteria. We investigated an approach targeting 2 KSHV lytic genes, ORF36 and ORF21, the protein of which, respectively, phosphorylate ganciclovir and zidovudine to toxic moieties. In a pilot study, 14 HIV-infected patients with symptomatic KSHV-MCD received high-dose zidovudine (600 mg orally every 6 hours) and the oral prodrug, valganciclovir (900 mg orally every 12 hours). Responses were evaluated using new response criteria. A total of 86% of patients attained major clinical responses and 50% attained major biochemical responses. Median progression-free survival was 6 months. With 43 months of median follow-up, overall survival was 86% at 12 months and beyond. At the time of best response, the patients showed significant improvements in C-reactive protein, albumin, platelets, human IL-6, IL-10, and KSHV viral load. The most common toxicities were hematologic. These observations provide evidence that therapy designed to target cells with lytic KSHV replication has activity in KSHV-MCD. This trial was registered at as #NCT00099073.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk