Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is a malignant tumor of the blood vessels most commonly seen in HIV patients. Now, a team of scientists from the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome, Italy, has discovered how these tumors are affected by protease inhibitor drugs--a finding that may lead to better treatment for KS both in HIV and non-HIV patients (Nature Medicine, Vol. 8, No. 3, March 2002, p. 225).
Based on the knowledge that there is a reduced incidence of KS in HIV patients treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), of which protease inhibitor drugs are one component, Barbara Ensoli and colleagues tested the ability of this particular class of drugs to inhibit angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels). They showed that administration of two protease inhibitor drugs, indinavir and saquinavir, greatly reduced the growth of KS lesions in mice. The data suggest that these drugs may be useful against a wider range of cancers than just HIV-related KS.
Dr. Barbara Ensoli
Laboratory of Virology
Istituto Superiore di Sanità
Telephone: +39 06 4990 3209
Fax: +39 06 4990 3002
(C) Nature Medicine press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza
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