Targeted therapy for Kaposi sarcoma.
Sullivan RJ, Pantanowitz L, Dezube BJ.
Division of Hematology/Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Kaposi sarcoma (KS) occurs as a result of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) infection, typically in the context of one of several immunodeficient states. In the US, patients with KS may either be co-infected with HIV or receiving immunosuppressant therapy following solid-organ transplantation. Systemic treatment of KS has traditionally involved one of several chemotherapeutic agents administered either in combination or as single agents, which typically provide reasonable response rates and short-term control. However, recurrence of KS is common, and progression-free intervals are under 1 year. For these reasons, new therapies have been sought and with the elucidation of novel pathogenic mechanisms of KS infection, rational therapeutic targets have been identified. These include KSHV replication, restoration of immune competence, and signal transduction pathways utilized by KSHV in the propagation of KS. This review focuses on these emerging targets in the treatment of patients with KS and also highlights important clinicopathologic characteristics.