treatment and prognosis

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In the Classical Jewish and Mediterranean variety and the endemic African variety, Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is an indolent condition with no significant reduction in life expectancy.

The majority of cases diagnosed in the UK today present with advanced disease and previously undiagnosed HIV infection (1)

  • local therapies including cryotherapy, radiotherapy and topical treatments are effective for treating patients with early skin lesions
  • many patients presenting with KS will respond to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and require no other intervention
  • unsightly lesions on the face or other exposed areas may be excised or may respond well to short courses of radiotherapy. More extensive limb involvement responds well to wide-field irradiation
  • when the disease is progressing rapidly in spite of HAART or when there is visceral involvement, systemic treatment with cytotoxic chemotherapy is indicated.


  1. NICE (February 2006).CSG Improving Outcomes for People with Skin Tumours including Melanoma: The Manual

Last reviewed 01/2018