Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is an angioproliferative disease that may represent a difficult therapeutic challenge in disseminated stages. The efficacy of taxanes (paclitaxel and docetaxel), as agents with antiangiogenic properties, has been described previously in the treatment of patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-associated KS but remains unknown in the treatment of patients with refractory or life-threatening KS without human immunodeficiency (HIV) infection.
During the past 6 years, 12 non-HIV-infected patients with refractory KS were treated with paclitaxel (175 mg/m2 every 3 wks) or docetaxel (60 mg/m2 every 3 wks).
All patients improved dramatically after chemotherapy. Partial desinfiltration (n = 6) or complete desinfiltration (n = 6) of all papulonodular skin lesions was observed with marked improvement of lymphedema in 6 patients. According to the AIDS Clinical Trials Group criteria, response was partial in 100% of patients. A major response was obtained among patients who had visceral lesions (n = 3 patients), with rapid and complete remission of digestive or respiratory symptoms. The mean delay to response was 2 courses. Treatment was sustained for 3 patients. For the remaining 9 patients who received a median of 7 courses (range, 2-14 courses), the mean time to recurrence or follow-up without recurrence was 13 months. Tolerance was good except for 3 episodes of Grade 3 or 4 asymptomatic neutropenia and 1 episode of moderate myositis.
The results of this study showed that taxanes are beneficial in the treatment of patients with refractory or life-threatening Kaposi sarcoma. Cancer 2006. © 2006 American Cancer Society.