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Panretin treatment for chronic KS
Mar 2, 2001

Good morning. I have a need for updated/recent information related to Panretin gel for treatment of chronic KS (more than 6 lesions and recurring >3 years). Someone close to me is asking if taking a Chemo holiday and substituting Panretin gel would be ok for 6 months? His oncologist feels that since he has been without Chemo and none of his current lesions have progressed/changed that an additional 3 months would probably not be an issue and Panretin is not needed. He has taken Doxcil, and now is being treated with Vincristine. He is concerned with the long-term effects of Chemo on his body and would like to use the gel if it would be a good alternative. He would also like to get a second opinion, but is not able to at this point. He wants to know if an MRI and/or CAT scan are advisable to determine if the KS has invaded any other organs -- he has never had this done. Please advise as there is very little information that I can get my hands on regarding this issue. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Dezube

It is indeed permissible to go on and off chemotherapy. I typically treat my patients for about 6 treatments and then stop the chemotherapy and observe them for a while. Although it is NOT uncommon for KS to come back, often it does not come back for quite some time. I have many patients in my practice who come on and off chemotherapy once a year. There is usually no harm stopping it. The best advice for your friend is that he should be on potent anti-retroviral therapy. The higher the CD4 count and the lower the viral load, the less likely it will be that your friend's KS will come back. PanRetin gel is a very reasonable suggestion in that it will take care of any residual lesions your friend has in between his treatments. I would recommend that your friend should have a chest x-ray to see if he has KS in his lungs and to have his stool checked for blood, which would help his provider know if he has KS in his bowels.

Lastly there are several investigational protocols looking at treatments which can be given to prevent new KS lesions (these investigational agents are called angiogenesis inhibitors)

Hope this helps. GOOD LUCK.


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