Long-term efficacy on Kaposi's sarcoma of highly active antiretroviral therapy in a cohort of HIV-positive patients

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ObjectiveTo assess the efficacy of highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) on AIDS–Kaposi's sarcoma (KS).DesignProspective cohort of patients followed for 24 months.SettingFour referral hospitals of the West Paris metropolitan area.Patients/interventionThirty-nine AIDS–KS patients, 42 ± 9 years old, who began HAART (HIV-protease inhibitor and two nucleoside analogues) between March and December 1996, were enrolled. One was lost to follow-up at month 12.Main outcome measuresKS response, using criteria of the AIDS clinical trials group (ACTG), CD4 cell counts, and plasma HIV-RNA, assessed every 6 months. ACTG TIS staging of KS.ResultsEighteen patients had T1 KS and 21 T0 KS. One patient died from KS at month 6. KS improved progressively, with complete and partial response rates of 46% and 28% at month 24, respectively. Only six patients were still receiving systemic KS therapy at month 24. Complete response was observed in 10 of the 19 patients without systemic KS therapy at inclusion. Patients with complete response at month 24 had higher CD4 cell counts than others (465 ± 343 versus 185 ± 167 × 106/l;P  < 0.01), but the proportion of patients with HIV-1 RNA < 500 copies/ml was not significantly different. An increase in CD4 cell counts from inclusion to month 12 of > 150 × 106/l [odds ratio (OR), 13.4; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2–82] and T0 KS at inclusion: [OR, 7; 95% CI, 1.1–42] were predictive of complete response at month 24.ConclusionsHAART appears to have prolonged efficacy on AIDS–KS, even without specific KS therapy, and this effect appears to be linked to the restoration of immune function.

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