Kaposi Sarcoma

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Treating Kaposi Sarcoma TOPICS

Treating immune deficiency and related infections in people with Kaposi sarcoma

The most important treatment for Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is treating any immune deficiency that exists as well as any related infections.

In people with AIDS, this means using combinations of anti-HIV drugs. This is known as highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). For many AIDS patients, HAART may be the only treatment needed to cause the KS lesions to shrink and to keep them under control.

In organ-transplant patients whose immune systems are suppressed by drugs, decreasing or changing the drugs may be helpful.

New KS lesions are more likely to develop when a patient’s blood test results for Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) are positive. The risk of developing new lesions is lower when antiviral medicines such as ganciclovir or foscarnet are used. These medicines may help prevent new lesions but do not help existing lesions get better.

KS lesions tend to get worse when patients develop bacterial infections. Therefore, it is very important to do what you can to lower your risk of bacterial infections and to treat them promptly if they do occur.

Last Medical Review: 02/20/2013
Last Revised: 02/20/2013