Weekly paclitaxel for advanced aggressive classic Kaposi sarcoma: Experience in 17 cases

L. Brambilla, A. Romanelli, M. Bellinvia, S. Ferrucci, M. Vinci, V. Boneschi, A. Miedico, L. Tedeschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Paclitaxel has proved to be highly effective in the treatment of severe AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma (KS), for which it is now considered as a second-line monotherapy. Taxanes were recently shown to be active also in classic, endemic and post-transplantation KS. Objectives: To evaluate the clinical efficacy and tolerability of standardized paclitaxel treatment (100 mg weekly, intravenously) in a homogeneous group of 17 patients with advanced aggressive and refractory classic KS (cKS). Methods: Seventeen patients with aggressive refractory cKS (stage IIIBc-IVBcv) were treated with intravenous paclitaxel 100 mg weekly. The response to the therapy was evaluated after 12 weeks. A maintenance treatment every 2 weeks was introduced for most of the patients and a final evaluation was made. Results: A partial/complete response was achieved in 14 of 17 patients. Two patients had allergic reactions, for which treatment was discontinued. One patient had progression of disease despite initial improvement. Patients received a mean of 16.8 courses. The treatment was generally well tolerated. Mean time to recurrence was 4.5 months from the end of the therapy and 7.35 months from the 12th course. In four of 10 patients who relapsed at follow-up, the recurrence was mild and responsive to local treatment, while the other six relapsing patients repeated paclitaxel with good response in five of them. Conclusions: This study shows that low-dose paclitaxel proved to be effective and well tolerated in patients with aggressive refractory cKS, controlling the aggressiveness of the disease. The treatment can be repeated with good response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1339-1344
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


  • Classic Kaposi sarcoma
  • Paclitaxel
  • Taxanes
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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