Sarcoma - Kaposi: Latest Research

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 06/2013

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done now to learn more about this type of cancer and how to treat it. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Doctors are working to learn more about Kaposi sarcoma, including ways to prevent it, how to best treat it, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with this disease. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your doctor about the diagnostic and treatment options best for you.

Targeted therapy. Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. Because blood vessels make up a large part of Kaposi sarcoma lesions, researchers are studying treatments focused on stopping angiogenesis, which is the process of making new blood vessels. The goal of anti-angiogenesis therapy is to block the formation of new blood vessels so that the nutrients a tumor needs to grow and spread cannot be delivered, literally "starving" the tumor.

New HIV/AIDS treatment. New and better treatments for HIV/AIDS means that fewer people are developing Kaposi sarcoma. Improved HIV/AIDS treatments in the future may further reduce the risk of Kaposi sarcoma.

Combination chemotherapy. Combination chemotherapy uses more than one drug (given together) to treat Kaposi sarcoma. In addition to more than one type of chemotherapy, researchers are also looking at combinations of chemotherapy and antiretroviral drugs, which are normally used to treat patients with HIV/AIDS.

Virus research. Research is ongoing to learn more about HHV-8 and its link to Kaposi sarcoma.

Supportive care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current Kaposi sarcoma treatments in order to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life.

To find clinical trials specific to your diagnosis, talk with your doctor or search online clinical trials databases now. Please note this link will take you outside this guide.

The next section addresses how to cope with the symptoms of the disease or the side effects of its treatment. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Coping with Side Effects, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.