Kaposi’s Sarcoma

The burden of viral infections in cancer is high but underappreciated by much of the cancer research community. The International Agency for Research on Cancer estimates that one in five cancer cases worldwide are caused by infection, with most caused by viruses. HHV8 virus (also known as KSHV) induces several very severe hematologic, immunologic diseases and Kaposi’s sarcoma that can coexist in the same patients.

Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is a form of soft tissue sarcoma that mostly develops in connective tissues, blood vessels, fibrous tissues, and muscles. Large DNA tumor viruses, such as HHV-8, induced a complex interaction between the viral oncogenes and the host cell by evading immune responses during virus latency into the virus infected cells.

KS is a malignant, multi-centric, neoplastic vascular proliferation, characterized by the development of bluish-red cutaneous nodules on feet. These tumors have an endothelium lining and vascular spaces and are often confined to the skin and subcutaneous tissues. The KS lesions are of three types based on their appearance: nodular, infiltrating, and lymphatic.

Drugs used for the treatment of Kaposi sarcoma can be grouped into anthracyclines and vinca alkaloids. The other methods of treatments used besides chemotherapy include radiation therapy, immunotherapy, HAART, and surgery. The choice of the treatment varies according to the symptoms observed in the patient. KS is classified as an orphan disease and we strongly believe that a new type of safer treatment devoid of side effect would be of great benefit for people suffering of afflicting lesions.