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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Kaposi sarcoma


Other Names for this Disease
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Mediterranean Kaposi sarcoma
  • Non AIDS related Kaposi sarcoma
  • Human herpesvirus 8
  • HHV8
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Overview

Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is a cancer that develops from the cells that line lymph or blood vessels. It usually appears as tumors on the skin or on mucosal surfaces such as inside the mouth, but tumors can also develop in other parts of the body (including the lymph nodes, lungs, or digestive tract). The abnormal cells of Kaposi sarcoma cause purplish, reddish blue, or dark brown/black skin lesions (macules, nodules, plaques) on the legs and the face. These lesions may look bad, but they usually cause no symptoms. However, when the lesions are in the lungs, liver, or digestive tract, they may cause serious problems like gastrointestinal bleeding or trouble breathing.[1] Kaposi sarcoma is caused by infection with a virus called the Kaposi sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV), also known as human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8).[2] Kaposi sarcoma is classified into four types based upon the different populations in which it develops: classic (which presents in middle or old age), endemic (described in sub-Saharan indigenous Africans), iatrogenic (associated with immunosuppressive drug therapy) and AIDS-associated (epidemic KS).[3] Options for treatment may include local therapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and biologic therapy (immunotherapy). The main aim is to restore immunity.[4]
Last updated: 2/4/2016

References

  1. What is Kaposi sarcoma?. American Cancer Society. August, 2014; http://www.cancer.org/cancer/kaposisarcoma/detailedguide/kaposi-sarcoma-what-is-kaposi-sarcoma.
  2. Do we know what causes Kaposi sarcoma?. American Cancer Society. August, 2014; http://www.cancer.org/cancer/kaposisarcoma/detailedguide/kaposi-sarcoma-what-causes.
  3. Rose LJ. Kaposi Sarcoma. Medscape Reference. April 16, 2015; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/279734-overview.
  4. How is Kaposi sarcoma treated?. American Cancer Society. August 2014; http://www.cancer.org/cancer/kaposisarcoma/detailedguide/kaposi-sarcoma-treating-general-info.
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Basic Information

  • The American Cancer Society provides information on Kaposi sarcoma. Please click on the link to access this resource.
  • The National Cancer Institute provides the most current information on cancer for patients, health professionals, and the general public.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Kaposi sarcoma. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Mediterranean Kaposi sarcoma
  • Non AIDS related Kaposi sarcoma
  • Human herpesvirus 8
  • HHV8
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.