Immunotherapy may be efficacious in patients with HIV-associated Kaposi's sarcoma
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Bottom Line: Among a small cohort of patients with HIV-associated Kaposi’s sarcoma treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors, more than 65 percent had partial or complete remission.

Journal in Which the Study was Published: Cancer Immunology Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research

Author: Natalie Galanina, MD, oncologist at Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health

Background: “Despite the successful and prevalent use of antiretroviral medications to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients, about 15 percent of this population still develops Kaposi’s sarcoma, which is an incurable malignancy with significant morbidity,” said Galanina. “Due to a paucity of novel therapeutic options for this disease in recent decades, we wanted to investigate if immune checkpoint inhibition was effective in treating this virally mediated cancer.”

The standard of care for patients with Kaposi’s sarcoma is liposomal doxorubicin, a type of chemotherapy. While roughly half of patients respond to this therapy, most suffer relapses and require repeated treatments, noted Galanina. Because the standard of care is not curative, and Kaposi’s sarcoma can persist in patients with an undetectable viral load, new treatments for this disease represent a clinically unmet need, she explained.

How the Study Was Conducted: Galanina and

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