Tailoring treatment for Classical Kaposi's Sarcoma: Comprehensive clinical guidelines

Baruch Brenner, Erika Rakowsky, Alan Katz, Haim Gutman*, Aaron Sulkes, Jacob Schacter, Eyal Fenig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Classical Kaposi's sarcoma (CKS) is a rare indolent proliferative disease which is particularly prevalent among Jews of Ashkenazi and Mediterranean origin. To define guidelines for its comprehensive management, we conducted a retrospective analysis of 123 patients, focusing mainly on treatment modalities. The CKS-related mortality was 4% (5 patients). Of the 39 patients for whom observation only was the primary approach, 15 (38%) remained progression-free for 1-83 months (median, 4 months). Twenty-nine of the 52 (56%) patients who underwent surgery as the primary approach remained recurrence-free for 1-162 months (median, 15 months). Radiotherapy achieved an objective response in 74 courses (85%), including 50 (58%) complete responses. Symptomatic relief was reported in 95% of the patients. Vinblastine (27 series) achieved an objective response in 73% of series, including 22% complete responses. Multivariate analysis of time to progression with observation alone identified immunosuppression as the only significant independent factor that predicted disease progression. Our study suggests that observation alone may be sufficient for immunocompetent asymptomatic patients; symptomatic resectable lesions are suitable for simple excision; and more advanced disease or unresectable lesions require radiotherapy. If disease is extensive or the other approaches fail, chemotherapy is appropriate. Tailoring the treatment for CKS is an integrative process, requiring good understanding of the role of each available modality in the different clinical disease settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1097-1102
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1999


  • Chemotherapy
  • Classical Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Prognostic factors
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery


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