Kaposi's sarcoma is cancer caused by infection with the human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8). It develops in the lining of the blood and lymph vessels.
People with HIV are at the highest risk of developing Kaposi's sarcoma, but in healthy individuals, the condition is rare. It is an "AIDS-defining" condition, which means that a diagnosis of Kaposi's sarcoma is a sign that HIV has progressed to AIDS.
Symptoms of Kaposi's sarcoma are purple tumors or lesions appearing on the face, mouth, lymph nodes, feet, legs, or genitals. It can also affect the internal organs, such as the lungs, liver, and intestines. Other symptoms include problems swallowing or eating; swelling of the arms, legs, face, or scrotum; shortness of breath; coughing; nausea; and vomiting.
Treatment of Kaposi's sarcoma usually involves removal of the tumors, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and medication. Drug classes often used to treat the condition are interferons, alpha, vinca alkaloids and analogs, anthracyclines, topical antineoplastic retinoids, and taxanes.