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After Chemo for KS; How Long Will My Response Last?
Mar 16, 2001

I'm in the middle of chemo (Doxil) for ks on skin,lungs, liver, and adrenal gland.At start of treatment VL>1 million, cd4 of 71. Doxil is VERY well tolerated and skin lesions are fading well. Now VL undetectable, cd4 hasn't risen above 200 yet. Everything I have read about chemo for KS includes a length of response time which is discouraging.If a limited response time is still a concern, does the recurrance of KS allow for KS in the lungs at a similar severity as the initial occurrence. Also is there any new information on length of response with cd4 < 200. Information on this subject has been almost as hard to find as finding an informed provider. Thank you immensely for any information.

Response from Dr. Dezube

I'm delighted to hear that you are tolerating the chemotherapy and that it seems to be working quite well. You ask a good question in terms of how long the response will last. This is often somewhat difficult to predict. In general if the HIV drugs are working fine, which is probably the case since your viral load is undetectable, the response should last for quite some time. In general, when I see patients, who have a lot of KS in the setting of a high viral load, we begin chemotherapy plus HIV therapy. If the viral load becomes undetectable, I typically stop the chemotherapy after SIX cycles. Often the KS does not recur so long as you continue to take the HIV therapy. Occasionally however the KS does come back. In such cases we restart chemotherapy. So time will tell, but from what I hear about your case, I would urge you to be optimistic. Hope this helps. BD.


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