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J Clin Oncol. 1999 Jun;17(6):1876-83.

Paclitaxel is safe and effective in the treatment of advanced AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma.

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  • 1Departments of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of Southern California, Kenneth Norris Cancer Hospital and Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA, USA.



Liposomal anthracyclines are the present standard treatment for advanced AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). No effective therapies have been defined for use after treatment failure of these agents. A phase II trial was thus conducted with paclitaxel in patients with advanced KS to assess safety and antitumor activity.


A regimen of paclitaxel at a dose of 100 mg/m(2) was given every 2 weeks to patients with advanced AIDS-related KS. Patients were treated until complete remission, disease progression, or unacceptable toxicity occurred.


Fifty-six patients with advanced AIDS-related KS were accrued. Tumor-associated edema was present in 70% of patients and visceral involvement in 45%. Forty patients (71%) had received prior systemic therapy; 31 of these were resistant to an anthracycline. The median entry CD4(+) lymphocyte count was 20 cells/mm(3) (range, 0 to 358). A median of 10 cycles (range, 1 to 54+) of paclitaxel was administered. Fifty-nine percent of patients showed complete (n = 1) or partial response (n = 32) to paclitaxel. The median duration of response was 10.4 months (range, 2.8 to 26.7+ months) and the median survival was 15.4 months. The main side effects of therapy were grade 3 or 4 neutropenia in 61% of patients and mild-to-moderate alopecia in 87%.


Paclitaxel at 100 mg/m(2) given every 2 weeks is active and well tolerated in the treatment of advanced and previously treated AIDS-related KS. The median duration of response is among the longest observed for any regimen or single agent reported for AIDS-related KS. Paclitaxel at this dosage and schedule is a treatment option for patients with advanced AIDS-related KS, including those who have experienced treatment failure of prior systemic therapy.

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