Last updated on February 2018

Phase II Multicentric Study of Digoxin Per os in Classic or Endemic Kaposi' s Sarcoma


Brief description of study

Classic and endemic Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) are lymph angio proliferations associated with human herpes virus 8 (HHV8) which treatment is poorly codified. Chemotherapies give at best 30-60% of transient responses. While interferon responses are frequent, this drug is often poorly tolerated in elderly patients. Therefore new therapies are needed. Classic KS represents an ideal model for evaluating new drugs since patients do not receive concomitant immunosuppressive regimens nor antiviral therapies.

Hypoxia-inducible factor 1(HIF-1 alpha) is a major regulator of solid tumor growth and therefore a suitable target currently explored in many cancers. Moreover HIF-1 alpha enhances HHV-8 gene expression in KS and induces lytic replication cycle. Digoxin has anti cancer effect in vivo through HIF-alpha down regulation in several preclinical tumor models including KS. The identification of HIF-1 alpha as a key factor in HHV8 replication prompt us to explore inhibition of HIF-1 alpha by digoxin as a potential therapeutic approach for KS treatment it has and consequently may down regulate HHV-8 replication in KS. This latter approach is heightened by recent data suggesting that Digoxin has some efficacy in vitro against others human herpes virus i.e. Herpes simplex and Cytomegalovirus (8) (9)

In this study the investigators shall evaluate the benefit and safety profile of digoxin in classic and endemic KS (serum drug concentration of 0.6 to 1.2 ng/ml for patients <75 years and between 0.5-0.8 ng/ml in patients older than 75 years The participants will take study drug digoxin, for a total of 6 cycles (4 weeks/cycle).

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02212639

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celeste lebbe, MD-PHD

Saint-Louis Hospital
Paris, France
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