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Regressed Kaposi's lesions retain atrophic tumor cells.

BETHESDA, MD. -- Kaposi's sarcoma lesions that completely regress with treatment still contain a reservoir of atrophic tumor cells, Dr. Steven R. Tahan said at an international conference on malignancies in AIDS and other immunodeficiencies.

These residual cells give Kaposi's sarcoma the potential to recur, even in patients whose cancer seems to have completely resolved, said Dr. Tahan of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Dr. Tahan and his associates biopsied cutaneous Kaposi's sarcoma lesions in three HIV-positive men before, during, and after the cancer was treated with doxorubicin alone, doxorubicin plus imatinib, or doxorubicin plus Col-3. Biopsy samples of normal skin from HIV-negative subjects served as controls. The patients, aged 43-50 years, were maintained on highly active antiretroviral therapy throughout chemotherapy for their plaque-stage Kaposi's sarcoma.

By clinical and microscopic examination, Kaposi's sarcoma completely regressed in two of the men and partially regressed in the third. Immuno-histochemical assessment showed that although both the quantity and the size of tumor cells greatly diminished, numerous atrophic tumor cells remained that could possibly cause the Kaposi's sarcoma to recur. There were no such cells in the control samples.

These findings could explain why Kaposi's sarcoma lesions often reappear at the same sites as previously healed lesions when patients undergo immunosuppressive therapy after transplantation, Dr. Tahan noted at the conference, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.
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Title Annotation:Infectious Diseases
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2004
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