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J Infect Dis. 2003 Jan 1;187(1):149-53. Epub 2002 Dec 13.

A pilot study of cidofovir in patients with kaposi sarcoma.

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HIV and AIDS Malignancy Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


A clinical trial was conducted to test the activity of cidofovir (CDV), a drug with in vitro activity against Kaposi sarcoma (KS)-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), in KS. Five patients with human immunodeficiency virus-associated KS (4 receiving antiretroviral therapy) and 2 patients with classical KS were administered CDV (5 mg/kg/dose) weekly for 2 weeks and then every other week. All 7 patients had progression of their KS at a median of 8.1 weeks (range, 5-27 weeks). Skin biopsy specimens of KS lesions showed no change in expression of latent or early lytic genes, but, in the 1 assessable patient, there was decreased expression of a late lytic gene. There was no decrease in the virus load of KSHV in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. This study does not provide proof of principle for the treatment of KS with CDV. However, it remains possible that antiherpesvirus therapy can be developed for herpes-induced tumors.

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