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Int J Dermatol. 1995 Oct;34(10):729-32.

Chemotherapy for AIDS-related and endemic African Kaposi's sarcoma in southern Africa.

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  • 1Northern Israel Oncology Center, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.



Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), either in its endemic (African) form or its AIDS-related variant, is a common neoplastic disorder seen in Southern Africa. Chemotherapy has been proven to be very effective in advanced or relapsed African Kaposi's sarcoma, but much less so in AIDS-related, endemic KS.


The study consists of a retrospective analysis of the results of chemotherapy alone in 17 patients with African KS (AKS) and in 32 patients with epidemic AIDS-related KS (EKS), treated at the Johannesburg General Hospital between 1982 and 1992. Single agents included vinblastine, actinomycin D, bleomycin, and vincristine; combined regimens were largely doxorubicin/vincristine/bleomycin or etoposide/methotrexate. Outcome classifications were: complete remission (CR), partial remission (PR), and treatment failure (TF).


Four of the 17 patients with AKS had CR, 10 a PR, and three were TF and died rapidly from their disease. The combined chemotherapeutic regimens produced marked symptomatic relief and even long-term remission in AKS. In patients with EKS, the response rate to chemotherapy was very low and of brief duration. No patient had a CR and debilitating side effects were common.


The African type of AKS is a chemo-sensitive tumor, whereas the endemic type EKS, like its Western counterpart, has a dismal prognosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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