Medline: 3771313

International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 12(11): 1931-1935, 1986.

Radiotherapy of Kaposi's sarcoma.

Hamilton CR, Cummings BJ, Harwood AR


Between 1958 and 1983, 91 patients with Kaposi's sarcoma were referred to the Princess Margaret Hospital. Eight patients received no specific therapy immediately following their first assessment. Twenty-seven patients were treated by local field radiotherapy, of whom 17 entered complete remission and 6 have remained relapse-free. Fifty-six patients received extended field radiotherapy, usually a single fraction of 8 Gy megavoltage gamma-ray or photon therapy; 38 achieved completed remission, and 24 have remained relapse-free for a median duration of 3 years. The actuarial relapse-free survival for patients treated by local versus extended field radiotherapy significantly favors the extended field technique although the rates of relapse after complete remission has been achieved appear similar. Immunosuppression was present in 12 patients prior to the diagnosis of Kaposi's sarcoma; these patients had a similar response rate to radiation therapy to those who were not known to be immunosuppressed. A rationale for management, and radiation technique and dose are discussed. It is concluded that radiotherapy is an effective treatment for most forms of Kaposi's sarcoma.

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