Oral-visceral iatrogenic Kaposi sarcoma following treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a case report and review of the literature

J Med Case Rep. 2022 Nov 4;16(1):405. doi: 10.1186/s13256-022-03620-3.


Background: There have hardly been any reported cases of children presenting with Kaposi sarcoma as a second malignancy following treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia outside a transplant setting.

Case presentation: We report a case of a 5-year-old boy of Bantu origin, which, to our knowledge, could be only the second reported case of oral-visceral Kaposi sarcoma after acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment. The patient presented with a 1-month history of progressive, non-painful, soft tissue oral mass, 1 month after completing treatment for high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He was successfully treated for Kaposi sarcoma on a two-drug regimen (bleomycin and vincristine) with good clinical response.

Conclusion: Visceral Kaposi sarcoma as a second malignancy may occur after pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment, but its rarity makes it unlikely to raise suspicion among clinicians, thus precluding early diagnosis and treatment. We recommend routine evaluation for Kaposi sarcoma lesions in children undergoing long-term surveillance following treatment for childhood acute leukemia.

Keywords: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia; HHV-8; Kaposi sarcoma; Pediatric case report; Secondary malignancy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary* / pathology
  • Palatal Neoplasms*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma* / drug therapy
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi* / chemically induced
  • Vincristine / therapeutic use


  • Vincristine