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HIV Clin Trials. 2001 Sep-Oct;2(5):429-37.

Response to liposomal doxorubicin and clinical outcome of HIV-1-infected patients with Kaposi's sarcoma receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy.

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Hospital Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.



HIV-associated Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) may not resolve despite highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Moreover, the therapeutic goal has shifted from palliative care to long-term durable complete remission. The objective of the study was to assess the impact of liposomal doxorubicin in the treatment of HIV-associated KS in the HAART era.


In this prospective, noncomparative, multicenter study, patients with more than 10 cutaneous lesions or visceral disease were treated with 20 mg/m(2) of liposomal doxorubicin (Caelyx) every 3 weeks in addition to their antiretroviral therapy. In addition to tumor measurements and laboratory tests, human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was performed.


Out of 79 participants enrolled in the study, 47 (59%) had stage T(1), 41 (52%) I(1), and 32 (40%) S(1). Nine individuals were not evaluable for response, 32 (40%) had complete response, 30 (38%) partial response, 5 (6%) stable disease, and 3 (4%) progression. Regression analysis did not find any statistically significant factor predicting response. HHV-8 PCR was positive in 37/53 (70%) patients with available PBMC samples, and HHV-8 viremia cleared in 14/27 (52%) without correlation with clinical response. Eleven (14%) participants experienced a relapse of KS, while at the last update of data, 49 (62%) remained stable. The only risk factor for recurrence identified was the follow-up time (odds ratio [OR] 1.21, 95% CI 1.07-1.36; p =.002).


The response rate of AIDS-associated KS to liposomal doxorubicin administered with HAART was high, and most often the response was durable. HHV-8 viremia did not correlate well with clinical outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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