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Purpose of review: This review discusses the pathogenesis and recent advances in the management of Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV)-associated diseases.

Recent findings: KSHV, a gammaherpesvirus, causes several tumors and related diseases, including Kaposi sarcoma, a form of multicentric Castleman disease (KSHV-MCD), and primary effusion lymphoma. These most often develop in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). KSHV inflammatory cytokine syndrome (KICS) is a newly described syndrome with high mortality that has inflammatory symptoms-like MCD but not the pathologic lymph node findings. KSHV-associated diseases are often associated with dysregulated human interleukin-6, and KSHV encodes a viral interleukin-6, both of which contribute to disease pathogenesis. Treatment of HIV is important in HIV-infected patients. Strategies to prevent KSHV infection may reduce the incidence of these tumors. Pomalidomide, an immunomodulatory agent, has activity in Kaposi sarcoma. Rituximab is active in KSHV-MCD but can cause Kaposi sarcoma exacerbation; rituximab plus liposomal doxorubicin is useful to treat KSHV-MCD patients with concurrent Kaposi sarcoma.

Summary: KSHV is the etiological agents of all forms of Kaposi sarcoma and several other diseases. Strategies employing immunomodulatory agents, cytokine inhibition, and targeting of KSHV-infected cells are areas of active research.

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