Weekly paclitaxel treatment in the first-line therapy of classic Kaposi sarcoma: A real-life study

Medicine (Baltimore). 2023 Feb 3;102(5):e32866. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000032866.


Kaposi sarcoma is an angioproliferative disease associated with human herpes virus 8 infection. Classic Kaposi sarcoma (CKS) usually develops in older age. Although CKS often does not require systemic therapy, systemic therapy can be administered in progressively symptomatic patients. In this real-life study, we purposed to determine effectiveness and safety of weekly paclitaxel therapy in the first-line treatment of CKS. In this cross-sectional retrospective study, we analyzed the clinical data of 44 patients with CKS who received first-line paclitaxel therapy between January 2000 and December 2020. Paclitaxel was administered by intravenous infusion 80 to 100 mg/weekly. The median age of the patients was 67 years (range, 39-86 years), and majority male (77.2%). All patients had cutaneous involvement in extremities. The median follow-up time from paclitaxel treatment was 39.1 (range, 3.7-173.5) months. The median progression free survival from start of therapy was 35.1 months (range, 2-144 months). Complete response, partial response and stable disease were observed in 7 (15.9%), 28 (63.7%) and 6 (13.6) patients, respectively. Objective control rate was 79.6%, and the median response time after the last dose of paclitaxel was 18.2 months. A total of 4 patients (9.1%) had grade 3 to 4 neutropenia, but it was not complicated by febrile neutropenia. Three patients (6.8%) experienced grade 3 to 4 peripheral neuropathy. No patient had grade 3 to 4 allergic reaction. There was no drug-related death. According to our results, paclitaxel is an effective therapy option with an acceptable safety profile for patients with advanced CKS.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paclitaxel / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi* / complications
  • Skin Neoplasms* / drug therapy


  • Paclitaxel