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January 1988

Kaposi's Sarcoma Responsive to Interferon Therapy

Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(1):21-22. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670010011005

To the Editor.—  An omission from the list of interferon-responsive diseases of interest to the dermatologist cited in Edwards' editorial1 is acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-associated Kaposi's sarcoma. This tumor, occurring primarily in young homosexual men with human immunodeficiency virus infection, was first shown to be responsive to high doses of recombinant interferon alfa by Krown et al,2 who observed complete or partial (>50% ) tumor regression in five of 12 patients treated with daily intramuscular doses of 36- or 54-million units. Subsequent studies have confirmed the therapeutic activity of high doses (>20 million units per square meter) of recombinant3,4 and lymphoblastoid5,6 interferon alfa preparations. Estimates of the true response rate for high-dose interferon have been of the order of 25% to 30%, but have indicated minimal activity for lower, better tolerated dosage regimens.3-5 Patients whose tumors responded to interferon therapy had a significantly longer survival period and