Background: Several drugs are active in aggressive classical Kaposi's sarcoma (CKS); chemotherapeutic agents with fewer side-effects, more rapid response and able to overcome resistance to previous treatment are advisable when treating patients in a second line. Gemcitabine, an analogue of deoxycytidine with cytotoxic activity in the treatment of solid tumours, has been found to have no serious side-effects. Objective: To evaluate the usefulness of treating patients affected by aggressive CKS with gemcytabine. Methods: Twelve patients with a recurrent aggressive form of CKS previously treated with chemotherapy were treated with gemcitabine. The drug was administered intravenously at the dose of 1.2 g/week for 2 weeks, followed by a 1-week interval, until maximal response was reached. Objective responses and toxicity were evaluated according to WHO criteria. Results: Eleven evaluable patients achieved an objective response: CR in 1/11 and PR in 10/11. Toxicity was limited. Conclusion: This study shows the usefulness of treating patients affected with aggressive CKS with gemcitabine, in order to obtain control of the disease and to reduce the related symptoms as well as to overcome a possible resistance to previous treatments.
- Classical Kaposi's sarcoma
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