Kaposi's sarcoma after liver transplantation

Fabrizio Di Benedetto, Stefano Di Sandro, Nicola De Ruvo, Massimiliano Berretta, Michele Masetti, Roberto Montalti, Roberto Ballarin, Stefania Cocchi, Leonardo Potenza, Mario Luppi, Giorgio E. Gerunda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS) is a malignant neoplasm arising from endothelial cells. HHV8-infection represents a key pathogenic determinant for the development of KS. There are no standard criteria to treat KS in immunosuppressed-individuals. Six cases (2.1%) of KS occurred in our Center among 285-recipients who underwent liver transplantation (LT) between October 2000 and November 2006. Methods: Patients were four males and two females. Mean age was 57 years (range 44-65). Indication for LT was ESLD associated/non- associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The immunosuppressive regimen consisted of cyclosporine/tacrolimus associated with steroids or daclizumab. HHV8-detection was performed by the serological method before LT, and by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-analysis after KS. Results: One patient had HCV-related cirrhosis and coinfection from HIV, three had HBV-related cirrhosis, two of these with coexistent HCC. The last two patients had alcoholic-cirrhosis, one with coexistent HCC. Mean time from transplantation to KS was 6.2 months (range 3.8-8.8). Three patients were treated with doxorubicin and three with switch from calcineurin-inhibitors to sirolimus. Three patients expired after 11.5, 8.8, and 7.4 months from KS diagnosis. Discussion: KS should be treated by a multidisciplinary approach to obtain an early diagnosis and best management. Effective treatment with immunosuppression reduction or switch to sirolimus is mandatory and can induce complete regression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-658
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


  • HHV8 coinfection
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Liver transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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