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Nat Med. 2003 May;9(5):554-61. Epub 2003 Apr 7.

Post-transplant Kaposi sarcoma originates from the seeding of donor-derived progenitors.

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Department of Oncology and Hematology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Nat Med. 2003 Jul;9(7):975.


Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is a vascular tumor that can develop in recipients of solid tissue transplants as a result of either primary infection or reactivation of a gammaherpesvirus, the KS- associated herpesvirus, also known as human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8). We studied whether HHV-8 and the elusive KS progenitor cells could be transmitted from the donor through the grafts. We used a variety of molecular, cytogenetic, immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence methods to show that the HHV-8-infected neoplastic cells in post-transplant KS from five of eight renal transplant patients harbored either genetic or antigenic markers of their matched donors. These data suggest the use of donor-derived HHV-8-specific T cells for the control of post-transplant KS.

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