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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board Member: Buchner, Johannes / Ludwig, Stephan / Sies, Helmut / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

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Kaposis Sarcoma and Human Chorionic Gonadotropin: Mechanisms, Moieties and Mysteries

D. Bisacchi / D. M. Noonan / S. Carlone / A. Albini / U. Pfeffer

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry. Volume 383, Issue 9, Pages 1315–1320, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: 10.1515/BC.2002.149, June 2005

Publication History

Published Online:
2005-06-01

Abstract

Kaposis Sarcoma (KS) is a highly angiogenic neoplasm associated with infection by the human γherpesvirus, HHV-8 or Kaposis sarcoma herpes virus (KSHV). When in 1872 the Hungarian scientist Moritz Kaposi described the sarcoma, which was later named after him, he was dealing with a rare dermatologic disease. Today, KS is a more common pathology due to its high incidence in AIDS, in immunosuppressed transplantation patients and, in its endemic form, in Africa. The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has led to a drastic reduction of KS incidence in HIVinfected patients, but in some cases KS resists the treatment. KS is more common in men than in women. The observation of spontaneous remissions during pregnancy stimulated investigations into the potential antiKS activity of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). The variable effect in clinical trials using urinary preparations of the hormone (uhCG) has led to the hypothesis that contaminating moieties present in these preparations may account for the antiKS effect observed in vitro. While the discrepancy between laboratory tests and clinical trials remains a mystery, little is known about potential antiKS mechanisms of the hormone itself and/or other active moieties present in uhCG.

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