Medline: 1995526

International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 20(3): 419-422, 1991.

Intentions and outcomes in the radiotherapeutic management of epidemic Kaposi's sarcoma.

Cooper JS, Steinfeld AD, Lerch I


The indications for and outcome of radiotherapy for 226 epidemic Kaposi's sarcomas are reported. The overall likelihood of obtaining complete regression of tumor masses was 68%, although residual purple pigmentation remained in 20%. Local recurrence developed in 9%. The indications for treatment were not equally represented. Palliation of pain or improvement of the patient's appearance were the most common indications for treatment. Kaposi's sarcoma lesions do not all behave in a like manner. Best fit log-linear models of associations among the variables were derived. They demonstrated that the combination of treatment intention, anatomic site, and Karnofsky score predicted the short-term and long-term tumor response. The intention of treatment was closely linked to the anatomic site of treatment and in concert directly influenced outcome. The host's Karnofsky score was an independent predictive factor, but had less impact on outcome than did site or intention. Our data demonstrate that case selection can markedly alter the observed response rate of epidemic Kaposi's sarcoma to radiotherapy. This finding should be considered in future analyses of trials that test the efficacy of treatment for this disease.

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Dr. G. Quade