Kaposi's sarcoma: Aetiopathogenesis, histology and clinical features

F. M. Buonaguro, M. L. Tornessello, L. Buonaguro, R. A. Satriano, E. Ruocco, G. Castello, V. Ruocco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) represents today one of the most common skin cancers in transplanted Mediterranean subjects and, since the epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus /acquired immune deficiency syndrome, in young unmarried single men. The disease has been associated with the recent identified human herpesvirus (HHV)-8 or KS herpesvirus and its incidence in the general population shows a north to south gradient that parallels the HHV-8 increasing prevalence from Nordic countries to sub-Saharan regions. The identification of the aetiopathogenetic mechanisms (viral agents and immunodeficiency) involved in the pathogenesis of KS, are relevant for identifying susceptible subjects (HHV-8 seropositive subjects), monitoring the immune levels in iatrogenic immune suppressed patients, and developing new therapeutic approaches based on antiviral and immune modulators. Learning objective. This article should enable the reader: (i) to learn about the clinical and molecular aspects of KS in order to have a multidisciplinary approach to a tumour that shows unique features; (ii) to consider the role of viral agents and immunity; and (iii) to recognize properties of an opportunistic neoplasm. The identification of the HHV-8 role in KS pathogenesis should establish a relevant tool in the clinical management of KS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-154
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2003


  • Human herpesvirus 8
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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