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ks treatment
Nov 16, 2005

Dear Sir:

Is it true that there is a viral load blood test for the Kaposi sarcoma -associated herpes virus (KSHV). Would that be the same as a viral load test for HHV8 virus?

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I am having doxil treatments for ks, and thought at the end of the cycle, I could have a blood test that would tell how much of the virus was left in my system.

ALso, is there any dermatalogical procedure that can help erradicate the spots after one finishes with doxil? Any laser treatments? I have heard the spots leave dark spots.

Thanks.

tnt

Response from Dr. Conway

The viral load test for HHV-8 was initially reported on at conferences in 1999. A South African group (led by Sharon Cassol) reported in 2004 that it may be a good marker of response to treatment, so it is probably worth doing if it is available.

The key to treating KS is to use effective chemotherapy (such as the daunorubicin or Doxil you are getting) and also getting effective HAART. You may need to wait a bit for the skin lesions to fade as completely as you would like them to, but they usually will. Local therapy that has worked includes cryotherapy, low-dose radiotherapy or alitretinoin (vitamin A). You should discuss all of this with your cancer specialist to see what is right for you.



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