Kaposi's sarcoma is a malignant endothelial tumour.Last update: March 2006
It is the most frequent cancer developing in association with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is rare in the general population, but the prevalence of the classic form (i.e. without association with AIDS) is higher in certain regions such as Sicily and Sardinia (1 in 30 000 men, most frequently elderly males). A more aggressive, childhood form of Kaposi's sarcoma is endemic in Africa. The disease occurs in 0.04% of patients who have undergone a renal transplant.
The clinical picture is highly variable, ranging from mucocutaneous forms to multiorgan involvement. The classic form is often restricted to the skin and mucosa, but predisposes affected individuals to other malignant pathologies. The form associated with AIDS can be severe, but sometimes responds to aggressive anti-retroviral therapy.