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Keywords:

  • classic KS;
  • elettrochemotherapy;
  • HHV-8

Absract

The present prospective study was aimed at evaluating the long-term efficacy of local electrochemotherapy (ECT) with the intravenous administration of bleomycin, on disease progression and viral activity in classic Kaposi's sarcoma (cKS), a vascular tumor related to human herpes virus-8 infection. Eighteen patients affected by isolate or multiple cutaneous lesions, refractory to conventional treatments, although in the absence of visceral involvement, were enrolled in a study. Follow-up visits were performed after 4 weeks and every 6 months for up to 48 months. A more extensive exploration of the immunologic status as well as of virological parameters was performed in nine patients. The results showed a significant clinical improvement in all patients after 4 weeks. A complete regression was observed in 12 patients after the first ECT, while four patients required a second treatment on the residual lesions after 4 weeks from the first intervention. The positive outcome persisted during the subsequent clinical control visits. Two patients, that showed rapidly evolving did not improve and relapsed despite a second round of ECT treatment. Effective treatment was associated with the reduction of viral load to undetectable levels. These data support the conduct of larger studies directed at validating the efficacy of ECT as a first-line therapy for cKS.