The appearance of Kaposi sarcoma during corticosteroid therapy

Cancer. 1993 Sep 1;72(5):1779-83. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19930901)72:5<1779::aid-cncr2820720543>;2-m.


Background: Four epidemiologic types of Kaposi sarcoma (KS) are known: classic KS, endemic African KS, epidemic or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related KS, and KS associated with immunosuppressive therapy. In most of the latter patients, KS was reported to have developed after organ transplantation, particularly renal transplantation. Thirty-nine patients who have not had a transplant have been reported to have KS associated with corticosteroid therapy.

Methods: The authors studied 10 patients with the appearance of KS during corticosteroid therapy (6 men, 4 women; age range, 42-79 years) who were treated with corticosteroids for autoimmune disorders (5 patients), lymphoproliferative disorders (2 patients), and diseases unrelated to the immune system (3 patients).

Results: Genetically programmed susceptibility to corticosteroid-related KS was suggested by the descent of the study patients as well as most of those reported previously. The prognosis was guarded in all the study patients.

Conclusions: Corticosteroids should be withdrawn to achieve clinical remission.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autoimmune Diseases / drug therapy
  • Azathioprine / adverse effects
  • Betamethasone / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisone / adverse effects*
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / chemically induced*
  • Skin Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Triamcinolone / adverse effects


  • Triamcinolone
  • Betamethasone
  • Azathioprine
  • Prednisone
  • Methylprednisolone