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Classic Kaposi Sarcoma

Experience at Rabin Medical Center in Israel

Fenig, Eyal, M.D.; Brenner, Baruch, M.D.; Rakowsky, Erica, M.D.; Lapidoth, Moshe, M.D.; Katz, Alan, M.D.; Sulkes, Aaron, M.D.

American Journal of Clinical Oncology: October 1998 - Volume 21 - Issue 5 - p 498-500

Classic Kaposi sarcoma is an indolent cutaneous proliferative disease affecting mainly elderly people of Mediterranean and Jewish origin. The authors review the epidemiologic and clinical findings in Israeli patients with classic Kaposi sarcoma treated at the Institute of Oncology, Rabin Medical Center. A total of 123 patients were identified. The average age at diagnosis was 68 years (range, 20-90 years) and, as expected, there was a strong predominance of men (2.4:1). All but two patients were Jewish. The distribution of Ashkenazic Jews and Sephardic Jews was almost equal. Twenty-three patients (19%) had secondary malignancies that were mostly solid tumors. The clinical course was indolent and rarely fatal (4% disease-related mortality). Multivariate analysis revealed that non-Ashkenazic origin, age over 70 years, multiple lesions (>10), and immunocompromised conditions adversely affected survival. Radiotherapy for localized skin lesions yielded an 88% objective response, with symptomatic relief in 95% of patients. Chemotherapy was similarly effective (76% response rate) in patients with disseminated disease. These data demonstrate the indolent nature of classic Kaposi sarcoma which usually requires a less aggressive therapeutic approach than in the African and AIDS-related types of Kaposi sarcoma.

From the Institute of Oncology (E.F., B.B., E.R., A.K., A.S.) and Department of Dermatology (M.L.), Rabin Medical Center (Beilinson Campus), Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Eyal Fenig, Institute of Oncology, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus, Petah Tiqva, 49100, Israel.

© 1998 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.