Oct 29, 1999
I have been on Taxol chemotherapy for a year now @ every two weeks, and recently @ every three weeks. From the looks of my skin, mainly in my feet, it would seem as if there is response. My question is that the treatments are so taxing on my body and well I've read some new ideas are being presented. Studies? I'd be willing to change or try a new drug, less toxic. My lungs are clear and the KS is again mainly in the feet, bottom and top. I have skin problems, itchy, and sores that won't heal, I imagine from the chemo. I live in San Diego and wonder if you know of any studies that might be more quality of life prone? Thanks in advance.
Response from Dr. Pavia
You are absolutely right to think that a year of chemotherapy is rough on your body. It is. There is a lot of interest in other ways to treat KS, but to my knowledge, most of them are in very early stages. One approach that is available is the new gel "Panretin" or alitretinoin. It is applied twice daily to KS lesions and causes shrinkage in about half of patients. It is generally less effective than chemo, but it can help control skin lesions without a lot of side effects.
If your T cells have risen dramatically and your HIV viral load is low, your body MAY be able to control the KS better tnan before, but unfortunately, sometimes the KS forgets to read your lab report and continues to be aggressive.
Finding out about trials can help. Some ideas: call UCSD. Call 1-800-TrialsA and have them run a search for you. Try the trial finder on the UCSF website: www.hivinsite.ucsf.edu (plugging another site - oh well, your health comes first). Stay well.
Also see a list of clinical trial directories at The Body
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