Advanced Epidemic Kaposi's Sarcoma: Treatment with Bleomycin or Combination of Doxorubicin, Bleomycin, and Vincristine

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Background.Systemic chemotherapy is a treatment modality in the management of epidemic Kaposi's sarcoma (EKS). We conducted a prospective trial to compare bleomycin as a single agent with a regimen of low-dose doxorubicin, bleomycin, and vincristine (ABV) in patients with advanced EKS.Methods.Twenty-four homosexual or bisexual patients, between 21 and 40 years old, with positive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test for HIV and extensive EKS were included in the study. Half of the patients received bleomycin alone and the other half ABV.Results.A total of seven patients achieved stable disease (SD) and five progressed during bleomycin treatment. A total of four patients achieved partial remission and eight SD during ABV treatment. There was no survival benefit between either arm of treatment.Conclusions.Bleomycin alone is not a good starting agent for EKS, whereas ABV seems to be a good choice, because it can produce an acceptable palliation of advanced EKS without major toxicity.Int J Dermatol 1996; 35:831-833

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