BACKGROUND Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is among the most common childhood cancers in Eastern and Central Africa. Pediatric KS has a distinctive clinical presentation compared with adult KS, which includes a tendency for primary lymph node involvement, a considerable proportion of patients lacking cutaneous lesions, and a potential for fulminant disease. The molecular mechanisms or correlates for these disease features are unknown.METHODS This was a cross-sectional study. All cases were confirmed by IHC for KS-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) LANA protein. Baseline blood samples were profiled for HIV and KSHV genome copy numbers by qPCR and secreted cytokines by ELISA. Biopsies were characterized for viral and human transcription, and KSHV genomes were determined when possible.RESULTS Seventy participants with pediatric KS were enrolled between June 2013 and August 2019 in Malawi and compared with adult patients with KS. They exhibited high KSHV genome copy numbers and IL-6/IL-10 levels. Four biopsies (16%) had a viral transcription pattern consistent with lytic viral replication.CONCLUSION The unique features of pediatric KS may contribute to the specific clinical manifestations and may direct future treatment options.FUNDING US National Institutes of Health U54-CA-254569, PO1-CA019014, U54-CA254564, RO1-CA23958.
Carolina Caro-Vegas, Alice Peng, Angelica Juarez, Allison Silverstein, William Kamiyango, Jimmy Villiera, Casey L. McAtee, Rizine Mzikamanda, Tamiwe Tomoka, Erin C. Peckham-Gregory, Razia Moorad, Carrie L. Kovarik, Liane R. Campbell, Parth S. Mehta, Peter N. Kazembe, Carl E. Allen, Michael E. Scheurer, Nmazuo W. Ozuah, Dirk P. Dittmer, Nader Kim El-Mallawany
LANA staining of pediatric KS biopsies.