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April 2001
Jamal Zidan, MD, Wolf Robenstein, MD, Amira Abzah, RN and Sigalit Tamam, RN

Background: Classic Kaposi's sarcoma is a rare tumor with an indolent behavior. Local therapy is not applicable in disseminated cutaneous disease. Patients with advanced disease are usually treated with systemic chemotherapy.

Objectives: To assess the effectiveness and toxicity of  single-agent vinblastine in the treatment of disseminated and recurrent Kaposi's sarcoma.

Methods: Ten patients with wide cutaneous spread of classic Kaposis sarcoma were treated with single-agent vinblastine, 6 mg/m2 intravenously once every 2 weeks. Vinblastine was continued for 2 months after achieving a maximal response.

Results: The male:female ratio was 2.3:1, and median age 64 years (range 50-79 years). The median number of involved nodules in the skin was 34. The overall response rate was 90%, 5 with complete response (50%) and 4 with partial response (40%). Complete responders had a longer duration of response than partial responders: 41.2 vs. 14.8 months. The median survival of all patients was 33 months. Side effects were minimal and tolerable.

Conclusions: Vinblastine is very effective in the treatment of extensive classic Kaposi's sarcoma, and results in a high response rate, long survival and disease-free survival with tolerable toxicity.

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