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Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2013;2013:103-8. doi: 10.1182/asheducation-2013.1.103.

Human herpesvirus-8: Kaposi sarcoma, multicentric Castleman disease, and primary effusion lymphoma.

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1University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.


Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8) is a gamma herpesvirus associated with Kaposi sarcoma, multicentric Castleman disease, and primary effusion lymphoma, lymphoproliferative diseases that are most commonly observed in immunocompromised individuals. The viral genome expresses genes responsible for inhibition of apoptosis, cell cycle entry, and angiogenesis. Viral homologs of human regulatory genes are expressed, providing stimuli for angiogenesis, B-cell proliferation, and immune evasion. Variations in expression of these factors give rise to the 3 known HHV8-associated malignancies. Identification of these pathogenetic mechanisms has led to exploration of targeted treatment approaches for all 3 of these disorders with success in Kaposi sarcoma and multicentric Castleman disease; primary effusion lymphoma remains a clinical challenge.

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