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Kaposi Sarcoma

A type of cancer in which lesions (abnormal areas) grow in the skin, lymph nodes, lining of the mouth, nose, and throat, and other tissues of the body. The lesions are usually purple and are made of cancer cells, new blood vessels, and blood cells.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Kaposi Sarcoma

Kaposi sarcoma is a disease in which malignant tumors (cancer) can form in the skin, mucous membranes, lymph nodes, and other organs.

Kaposi sarcoma is a cancer that causes lesions (abnormal tissue) to grow in the skin; the mucous membranes lining the mouth, nose, and throat; lymph nodes; or other organs. The lesions are usually purple and are made of cancer cells, new blood vessels, red blood cells, and white blood cells. Kaposi sarcoma is different from other cancers in that lesions may begin in more than one place in the body at the same time.

Human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) is found in the lesions of all patients with Kaposi sarcoma. This virus is also called Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV). Most people infected with HHV-8 do not get Kaposi sarcoma... Read more about Kaposi Sarcoma

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Treatment of Kaposi sarcoma in children with HIV‐1 infection

Using ART and chemotherapy together increases the likelihood of KS remission and reduces the risk of death in HIV‐infected children diagnosed with KS. We found four observational studies that examined this question. Overall, we found that, though data are sparse and not adequately statistically adjusted, ART and chemotherapy together compared to chemotherapy alone and ART and chemotherapy compared to ART alone increases the likelihood of KS remission and reduces the risk of death in HIV‐infected children diagnosed with KS. The quality of this evidence is, however, weak. Future clinical trials of KS treatment options in HIV‐infected children are needed.

Treatment of severe or progressive Kaposi's sarcoma in HIV‐infected adults

Kaposi’s sarcoma was the first tumor to be described in association with HIV infection and is an AIDS‐defining condition. It is also known as Kaposi's sarcoma‐associated herpes virus (KSHV) as Herpes virus 8 (HHV8) is recognized as an essential and necessary factor in the pathogenesis of KS. Nonetheless, not all HHV‐8‐infected individuals will develop the disease. The abnormal cells of KS form purple, red, or brown patches, plaques or tumors on the skin. There is no universally accepted system for staging Kaposi's sarcoma. The most commonly used staging system for AIDS‐related KS in adults is the AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) staging.

Treatments for classic Kaposi sarcoma: a systematic review of the literature

BACKGROUND: Treatment guidelines are lacking for classic Kaposi sarcoma.

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Summaries for consumers

Treatment of Kaposi sarcoma in children with HIV‐1 infection

Using ART and chemotherapy together increases the likelihood of KS remission and reduces the risk of death in HIV‐infected children diagnosed with KS. We found four observational studies that examined this question. Overall, we found that, though data are sparse and not adequately statistically adjusted, ART and chemotherapy together compared to chemotherapy alone and ART and chemotherapy compared to ART alone increases the likelihood of KS remission and reduces the risk of death in HIV‐infected children diagnosed with KS. The quality of this evidence is, however, weak. Future clinical trials of KS treatment options in HIV‐infected children are needed.

Kaposi Sarcoma Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of Kaposi sarcoma.

Treatment of severe or progressive Kaposi's sarcoma in HIV‐infected adults

Kaposi’s sarcoma was the first tumor to be described in association with HIV infection and is an AIDS‐defining condition. It is also known as Kaposi's sarcoma‐associated herpes virus (KSHV) as Herpes virus 8 (HHV8) is recognized as an essential and necessary factor in the pathogenesis of KS. Nonetheless, not all HHV‐8‐infected individuals will develop the disease. The abnormal cells of KS form purple, red, or brown patches, plaques or tumors on the skin. There is no universally accepted system for staging Kaposi's sarcoma. The most commonly used staging system for AIDS‐related KS in adults is the AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) staging.

See all (14)

Terms to know

HIV/AIDS
AIDS is a collection of symptoms known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Hemorrhage
In medicine, loss of blood from damaged blood vessels. A hemorrhage may be internal or external, and usually involves a lot of bleeding in a short time.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
The virus that causes AIDS.
Lesion
A lesion is any abnormality in the tissue of an organism ("damage"), usually caused by disease or trauma.
Lymph Nodes
A rounded mass of lymphatic tissue that is surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue. Lymph nodes filter lymph (lymphatic fluid), and they store lymphocytes (white blood cells). They are located along lymphatic vessels. Also called lymph gland.
Mucosa (Mucous Membranes)
The moist, inner lining of some organs and body cavities (such as the nose, mouth, lungs, and stomach). Glands in the mucosa make mucus (a thick, slippery fluid). Also called mucous membrane.
Sarcoma
A cancer of the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.
Skin
The outer covering of the body that protects it from the environment.

More about Kaposi Sarcoma

Photo of an adult man

Also called: Multiple haemorrhagic sarcoma, Kaposi's sarcoma, Multiple hemorrhagic sarcoma, KS

Other terms to know: See all 8
HIV/AIDS, Hemorrhage, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

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