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alternative treatments for K.S.
Sep 6, 2000

I have been HIV pos. since 1987 I haven't taken any viral load fluctuates from 11,000-3000, I have been doing Doxil for my K.S. for quite some time now it hardly seem to put a dent in my k.s.Also I had cellulitis in both my legs at one point which left my lymph system scared and unable to drain fluid and this in turn leaves my legs and feet swollen with thick scabs that at one point oozed quite a I just soak my feet and keep the sores clean,my question is are there any new treatments on the horizons or can you suggest something for me to try. thanks

Response from Dr. Pavia

You don't mention your CD4 count. In many cases, the best treatment for KS is HAART with a good rebound of the CD4 count. If your T cells are low, say under 200, you may want to try going on therapy even though you have a relatively low viral load. Another option for localized KS is Panretinol (cis retinoic acid). This is a topical agent that is rubbed into the lesions. It leads to shrinkage in 30-60% of lesions, and can help control disease without systemic therapy.

Taxol is another chemotherapy agent that is very potent against KS. It is probably our best weapon at this point. However, it is chemotherapy and can lead to low blood counts, fatigue and hair loss. It is probably best used when the KS is painful or disabling, which it sounds like yours is. The best results of all may be with a combination of raising the CD4 count and using Taxol.

More creative approaches are on the horizon, including cytokines, and an injectable form of cis retinoic acid. However, they are not on a fast track. You may want to check out KS trials on one of the trial finder sites we have mentioned, such as the one on The Body or by calling 1-800-TRIALS A

Good luck


Andrew T. Pavia, M.D.

Losing hair at rapid rate -- is this HIV related?
Doing very well but still scared

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