The effect of HAART in 254 consecutive patients with AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma

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Objective:A prospective cohort study was performed to evaluate the clinical outcomes of patients with histologically confirmed AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma diagnosed since the introduction of HAART.Methods:Two hundred and fifty-four consecutive patients (96% men) diagnosed with Kaposi's sarcoma between 1996 and 2008 are included. Clinicopathological and treatment details were prospectively collected. The median follow-up is over 4 years and maximum 12 years.Results:The mean age at Kaposi's sarcoma diagnosis was 39 years and average duration of known HIV seropositivity was 4 years. At Kaposi's sarcoma diagnosis, only 19% patients were on HAART and only 7% patients had an undetectable plasma HIV viral load. Seventy-nine (31%) patients had AIDS clinical Trial Group stage T1 disease at Kaposi's sarcoma diagnosis and 122 (48%) had AIDS clinical Trial Group stage I1 disease (CD4 cell count < 150 cells/μl). Nodular grade Kaposi's sarcoma represented 28% of the tumours and was significantly associated with black African ethnicity and AIDS clinical Trial Group T1 stage disease. The overall 5-year survival is 89% (95% confidence interval 84–93). One hundred and sixty-three patients were treated with HAART alone for T0 stage Kaposi's sarcoma; only one died of Kaposi's sarcoma and only 37 (22%) required chemotherapy, giving a systemic treatment-free survival at 5 years of 74% (95% confidence interval 67–82) and the overall survival at 5 years is 91% (95% confidence interval 87–95).Conclusion:The high success rate of HAART in a large cohort of AIDS–Kaposi's sarcoma patients over a prolonged period of follow-up will reassure patients and clinicians that this is a well tolerated and effective approach to stage T0 Kaposi's sarcoma.

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