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Anti-cancer drug kicks HIV out of hiding
Date:7/22/2014

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In addition to measuring the increased viral load in six HIV-infected test persons, the researchers have tested the side effects of the medicine. The test persons experienced transient fatigue and nausea, which are known side effects of romidepsin. And so, the pilot study does not cause immediate concern for special side effects in HIV-infected persons.

Moreover, the researchers have investigated if the total HIV reservoir in the body is lowered when the killer T-cells are now able to trace and destroy the HIV-infected CD4 cells. However, the researchers have not been able to demonstrate that.

The immune system's reaction to the exposed HIV-infected cells may not itself be strong enough to clear the cells from the body. But the mechanism to activate and expose the HIV virus may potentially one day be part of a combination of drugs which together can eradicate HIV infection, says senior researcher and medical doctor Ole Schmeltz Sgaard.

Still a long way to go

The next step is a bigger trial where the researchers will combine romidepsin activation of hidden HIV with a vaccine (vacc-4x) to strengthen the ability of killer T-cells to fight hiv virus.

We have now shown that we can activate a hibernating virus with romidepsin and that the activated virus moves into the bloodstream in large amounts. This is a step in the right direction; but there is still a long way to go and many obstacles to overcome before we can start talking about a cure against HIV, says Ole Schmeltz Sgaard.


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Contact: Ole Schmeltz Søgaard
ole.schmeltz.sogaard@clin.au.dk
45-27-21-59-85
Aarhus University
Source:Eurekalert

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