KS: Antiretroviral-Related Improvements in Survival Measured

Overall survival has improved in patients with Kaposi’s sarcoma since the introduction of antiretroviral therapy (ART), but those with HIV infection can expect to live shorter lives than their uninfected counterparts, based on the first such analysis of the American College of Surgeons’ National Cancer Database.

One-year overall survival for all patients with Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), 74.9% in 2004-2007, rose by 6.4 percentage points to 81.3% in 2016-2018, with the use of ART for HIV starting in 2008. Two-year survival was up by an even larger 8.3 percentage points: 68.0% to 76.3%, said Amar D. Desai of New Jersey Medical School, Newark, and Shari R. Lipner, MD, of Weill Cornell Medicine, New York.


Since HIV-infected patients represented a much lower 46.7% of the Kaposi’s population in 2016-2018 than in 2004-2007 (70.5%), “better outcomes for all KS patients likely reflects advancements in ART, preventing many HIV+ patients from progressing to AIDS, changes in clinical practice with earlier treatment start, and more off-label treatments,” they wrote in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Overall survival rates for the 10,027 patients with KS with data available in the National Cancer Database were 77.9% at 1 year and 72.4% at 2 years. HIV status had a significant (P < .0074) effect over the entire study period: One-year survival rates were 88.9% for HIV-negative and 74.5% for HIV-positive patients, and 2-year rates were 83.0% (HIV-negative) and 69.3% (HIV-positive), the investigators reported in what they called “the largest analysis since the advent of antiretroviral therapy for HIV in 2008.”

The improvement in overall survival, along with the continued differences in survival between HIV infected and noninfected patients, indicate that “dermatologists, as part of a multidisciplinary team including oncologists and infectious disease physicians, can play significant roles in early KS diagnosis,” Mr. Desai and Dr. Lipner said.

Mr. Desai had no conflicts of interest to report. Dr. Lipner has served as a consultant for Ortho-Dermatologics, Hoth Therapeutics, and BelleTorus Corporation.

This article originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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