IL-12 Shows Promise for the Treatment of AIDS-Related Kaposi's Sarcoma
An early-phase clinical trial of interleukin-12 (IL-12) published online February 28 in Blood has shown promising results in patients with AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma (KS).
KS involves the abnormal growth of blood vessels and can develop in the skin or internally. Unlike most cancers, KS is caused by a virus - Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), also known as human herpesvirus-8. This virus is relatively common in certain countries with a high incidence of KS. In most people, the virus is kept in check by the normal functioning of the immune system. However, patients with severely suppressed immune systems, such as people living with HIV, are vulnerable to the development of KS.
Because IL-12 can act as both an immunostimulator and an antiangiogenesis agent - a drug that can suppress the growth of new blood vessels - investigators lead by Drs. Robert Yarchoan and Richard Little from NCI's HIV and AIDS Malignancy Branch saw potential for the drug in the treatment of AIDS-related KS. Read more
Guest Update by Dr. John E. Niederhuber
Strategic Plan Focuses Research Efforts
Today marks the release of a document that's the culmination of a tremendous amount of work and deliberation over the past few years: an NCI Strategic Plan that outlines the strategies for achieving NCI's goal of eliminating the suffering and death due to cancer.
This plan is intended to guide the efforts of the entire cancer community as we strive to remove the barriers to progress and accelerate the delivery of effective interventions that span prevention and early detection to advanced disease. Read more