Which medications are under investigation for the treatment of Kaposi sarcoma (KS)?

Updated: Apr 11, 2019
  • Author: Jessica Katz, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: Edwin Choy, MD, PhD  more...
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Other compounds (eg, fumagillin analogs and peptidoglycan analogs produced by bacteria, which are potent blockers of angiogenesis) have shown minimal benefit as single agents. Glufanide disodium, an antiangiogenic dipeptide from solubilized fraction of thymic extract, has shown benefit with response rates of 36% when used as a nasal formulation. [75] Because of its male predominance, another way of treating the disease may be through hormonal manipulation. The potential inhibitory effect of beta human chorionic gonadotropin is also under study.

A small study with imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) has shown response in 4 of 5 patients. [94]  In a study of nine patients with HIV-associated Kaposi sarcoma, immune checkpoint blockade with nivolumab or pembrolizumab produced partial responses in six patients and complete response in one patient, with low toxicity. [95]

Finally, evaluation of the multiple pathways of potential pathogenesis may lead to inhibitors of both autocrine and paracrine factors. An inhibitor of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) has been studied. Also, newer antiangiogenic compounds such as inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases and oligonucleotides may show promise. [96]

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