Investigators in DCEG conducted a population-based case-control study throughout Sicily. The hypotheses address the effects of smoking; skin diseases and their treatments; exposures to soil, plants, and water; and variants in immunity- and inflammation-related genes on the risk of Kaposi sarcoma (KS)-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) infection, classical KS among those infected, and KSHV salivary shedding and viral load. Results from this study of over 1,200 individuals confirmed the previous observation that cigarette smoking is associated with a decreased risk of classical KS. Analyses from this study also revealed possible associations for diabetes and corticosteroid use, findings that require replication but are biologically plausible given that KS development is affected by modulation of immune responses and that diabetes and corticosteroid use are associated with inflammatory states and immunosuppression.
For more information, contact James Goedert.