Over a 40 month period, 219 patients with AIDS were seen at St. Mary's Hospital, London. Kaposi's sarcoma, one of the criteria for diagnosing the syndrome, was the presenting feature in 62 patients. Eighty four patients developed Kaposi's sarcoma at some stage of their disease and the head and neck region was involved in 56 of them.
Although Kaposi's sarcoma is rarely life threatening in AIDS, potential airway obstruction, pain or cosmetic disfigurement may justify treating the lesion. Whilst cutaneous tumours may be managed by using radiotherapy (16 Gray in four fractions over four days), this treatment produces a sever mucositis when used to treat mucosal disease; we, therefore use a combination of vincristine and bleomycin for this.