Efficacy of chemotherapeutics in Kaposi sarcoma

Kaplan Meier curve of progression‑free survival and overall survival in patients

Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is a rare disease, and there is no specific treatment protocol agreed upon, especially for the classical type. Chemotherapeutics such as paclitaxel, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD), etoposide, gemcitabine are used in the treatment of KS, and there is a gap in the literature regarding which drug physicians should choose. In the study published in BJBMS, the authors aimed to present the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents in 16 patients with KS.

In the first-line cytotoxic therapy, seven patients received PLD, six patients received paclitaxel, two patients received oral etoposide, and one patient received adriamycin, bleomycin, and vincristine regimen. A significant difference in progression-free survival was observed between the PLD- and paclitaxel-treated groups (not reached vs. 12.8 months) in the first-line setting. No severe toxicity was observed.

The results of this study indicate that PLD seems better than paclitaxel in terms of disease progression and response rate and shows a good safety profile, but further studies are needed to support this hypothesis. Large-scale prospective randomized studies, investigations with a more extended follow-up period, and more homogeneous patient populations are warranted to define the best therapeutic option.


Oyucu Orhan S, Bilgehan Sahin A, Cubukcu E, Deligonul A, Ocak B, Orhan B, Evrensel T. Efficacy of chemotherapeutics in classic and non-classic Kaposi sarcoma: A single-center retrospective real-world data. Bosn J of Basic Med Sci. 2021

Editor: Edna Skopljak, MD

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