What is the role of intralesional chemotherapy in 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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Intralesional chemotherapy

Intralesional therapy with vinca alkaloids with low-dose vincristine or vinblastine as well as bleomycin has been used in a limited fashion—primarily for the classic form of Kaposi sarcoma, in which localized skin disease predominates. Responses occur in 60-90% of patients with little in the way of systemic side effects with duration of 4-6 months. Dosing is done at about one-tenth the systemic dose of drug with 3- to 4-week intervals between treatments. Side effects include changes in pigmentation, swelling, blistering, ulceration, and pain on injection as well as localized but usually transient neuropathic symptoms.

Because the disease recurs in other areas, intralesional chemotherapy has relatively limited use. Also, systemic vinca alkaloid therapy may be equally effective and cause less localized skin toxicity.

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