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Cancer. 1993 Sep 1;72(5):1779-83.

The appearance of Kaposi sarcoma during corticosteroid therapy.

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Department of Dermatology, Beilinson Medical Center, Petah Tiqva, Israel.



Four epidemiologic types of Kaposi sarcoma (KS) are known: classic KS, endemic African KS, epidemic or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related KS, and KS associated with immunosuppressive therapy. In most of the latter patients, KS was reported to have developed after organ transplantation, particularly renal transplantation. Thirty-nine patients who have not had a transplant have been reported to have KS associated with corticosteroid therapy.


The authors studied 10 patients with the appearance of KS during corticosteroid therapy (6 men, 4 women; age range, 42-79 years) who were treated with corticosteroids for autoimmune disorders (5 patients), lymphoproliferative disorders (2 patients), and diseases unrelated to the immune system (3 patients).


Genetically programmed susceptibility to corticosteroid-related KS was suggested by the descent of the study patients as well as most of those reported previously. The prognosis was guarded in all the study patients.


Corticosteroids should be withdrawn to achieve clinical remission.

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