Purpose:

Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is caused by Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV), also known as human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8). KS, which develops most frequently among people with HIV, is generally treated with chemotherapy, but these drugs have acute and cumulative toxicities. We previously described initial results of a trial of pomalidomide, an oral immunomodulatory derivative of thalidomide, in patients with KS. Here, we present results on the full cohort and survival outcomes.

Patients and Methods:

Participants with KS with or without HIV were treated with pomalidomide 5 mg once daily for 21 days per 28-day cycle with aspirin 81 mg daily for thromboprophylaxis. Participants with HIV received antiretroviral therapy. Response was defined by modified version of the AIDS Clinical Trial Group KS criteria. We evaluated tumor responses (including participants who had a second course), adverse events, progression-free survival (PFS), and long-term outcomes.

Results:

Twenty-eight participants were enrolled. Eighteen (64%) were HIV positive and 21 (75%) had advanced (T1) disease. The overall response rate was 71%: 95% confidence interval (CI) 51%–87%. Twelve of 18 HIV-positive (67%; 95% CI, 41–87%) and 8 of 10 HIV-negative participants (80%; 95% CI, 44%–97%) had a response. Two of 4 participants who received a second course of pomalidomide had a partial response. The median PFS was 10.2 months (95% CI: 7.6–15.7 months). Grade 3 neutropenia was noted among 50% of participants. In the follow-up period, 3 participants with HIV had other KSHV-associated diseases.

Conclusions:

Pomalidomide is a safe and active chemotherapy-sparing agent for the treatment of KS among individuals with or without HIV.

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