Oncogenesis in HIV-infection: KSHV and Kaposi's sarcoma

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The presence of human Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus-like sequences (KSHV) was examined in different epidemiological variants of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and in KS-derived cell cultures by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). KSHV DNA was present in all tumor biopsies of AIDS-associated KS (59 biopsies), endemic KS (26 biopsies; 21 African endemic KS, 5 Greek endemic KS), sporadic/classical KS (28 biopsies) and post- transplant/iatrogenic KS (6 of 7 biopsies). On the contrary, these sequences were only detected rarely in non-involved skin of KS patients (3 positive specimens of 12), in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of HIV-infected patients (3 positive specimens of 54) and in lymphoma-biopsies (3 positive specimens of 47). Cell cultures derived from KS skin lesions were positive for KSHV DNA only in the first two passages. However, two longer-term positive cultures front a biopsy of a patient affected with sporadic KS and a biopsy of a patient affected with epidemic KS was identified. A strong association of KSHV with KS tissue was observed in all the different epidemiological variants of KS. Long-term positive KS-derived cell cultures will be an important tool to study the herpesvirus-like agent and to investigate its functional role in the initiation and progression of KS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-8
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • herpesvirus
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • KS spindle cells
  • PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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