Electrochemotherapy as "new standard of care" treatment for cutaneous Kaposi's sarcoma

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Background Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is a novel modality for the treatment of skin nodules and cutaneous or subcutaneous tumors that allows delivery of low and non-permeant drug into cells. The aim of this prospective single-center study was to evaluate ECT efficacy in the local treatment of Classic Kaposi's sarcoma (CKS) skin localization stage I-II sec. Brambilla et al. Methods Nineteen consecutive patients affected by classic KS were included in this study. All patients underwent blood sampling and concurrent incisional biopsy for histological diagnosis and Kaposi's sarcoma related herpes virus 8 (HHV-8) molecular analysis. ECT treatment of KS cutaneous lesions were performed according to the European Standard Operating Procedures of Electrochemotherapy (ESOPE). The primary endpoint of the study was the evaluation of ECT efficacy in the treatment of KS skin nodules and the assessment of HHV-8 viral load in the peripheral blood following the ECT therapy. Results Complete response (CR) was observed in 14 (73.6%) patients after first ECT session, while 3 (15.7%) and 2 (10.5%) out of 19 patients received a second and a third ECT treatment, respectively. Clinical response dragged out the whole follow-up period that ranged between 6 and 31 months with a median of 16 months. Conclusions Clinical management of CKS skin localizations still represents a challenging task for surgeons and oncologists. Therefore, according to this and other author's recent experiences, ECT is claimed to become the "new standard of care" as first line treatment strategy for stage I-II CKS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Electrochemotherapy
  • HHV-8
  • Kaposi's sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Surgery


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