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BMC Dermatol. 2011 Nov 11;11:15. doi: 10.1186/1471-5945-11-15.

Classic Kaposi's sarcoma in Morocco: clinico-epidemiological study at the National Institute of Oncology.

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  • 1Medical oncology department, National Institute of Oncology, Rabat, Morocco.



Classic Kaposi's sarcoma (CKS) is a rare disease likely associated with human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8) infection, and occurs predominantly in Jewish, Mediterranean and middle eastern men. There is a dearth of data in Moroccan patients with CKS regarding epidemiology, clinical characteristics and outcomes. This report examines a cohort of patients with CKS evaluated at the national institute of oncology over 11-year period.


A retrospective analysis of patients referred to the national institute of oncology with classical Kaposi sarcoma, between January 1998 and February 2008, was performed. Reviewed information included demographics, clinical and pathological staging, death or last follow-up.


During the study period, 56 patients with a diagnosis of CKS have been referred to our hospital. There were 11 (19.7%) females and 45 (80.3%) males (male-to-female ratio: 4:1). Mean age at diagnosis was 61.7 ± 15 (range: 15-86 years). Nodules and/or plaques were the most frequent type of lesion. The most common location was the lower limbs, particularly the distal lower extremity (90%). In addition to skin involvement, visceral spread was evident in 9 cases. The most common visceral involvement sites were lymph nodes (44%), lung (22%), and gastrointestinal tract (22%). Associated lymphoedema was seen in 24 (42%) of the patients. There were 18 stage I patients (32.14%), 8: stage II (14.28%), 21 stage III (37.5%) and 9 stage IV (16.07%). A second primary malignancy was diagnosed in 6 cases (10.7%), none of the reticuloendothelial system. With a median follow-up of 45 months, 38 (67.8) patients are alive, of whom 25 (65.78%) patients with stable disease, five with progressive disease currently under systemic chemotherapy and 8 (21.05%) are alive and free of disease, over a mean interval of 5 years.


This is the largest reported series in our context. In Morocco, CKS exhibits some special characteristics including a disseminated skin disease at diagnosis especially in men, a more common visceral or lymph node involvement and a less frequent association with second malignancies.

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