Navigation Links
Gene Therapy Shows Promise Against HIV
Date:2/19/2010

Early findings suggest it could work, but application remains years away

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A new study is among the first to hint that gene therapy could become a weapon against the virus that causes AIDS.

However, any treatment remains far from being ready for use by patients, and would likely be expensive, experts said.

Still, the research is "a step in the direction of using gene therapy" to treat HIV patients, said Dr. Pablo Tebas, co-author of a new study and associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Existing AIDS drugs allow many patients to live fairly normal lives despite being infected with HIV. But they can cause a variety of side effects, and some patients become immune to them over time.

"The next big challenge is going to be: Can you cure the infection or control it to a level that allows patients to not take these expensive and complex medications that can be toxic?" Tebas said.

One possible solution is to help the body fight off HIV without the use of drugs. That's where gene therapy comes in, Tebas said. "Can you make the patient resistant so they can control HIV on their own?"

In the new study, the Pennsylvania team tested a gene therapy approach in which scientists first remove immune cells from patients, tinker with their genes and then put them back into the bodies of the patients.

Eight HIV-infected people took part in the study. After the genetically modified cells were placed back into the patients, "we stopped HIV treatment and tried to see what happened," Tebas said.

The findings are scheduled to be reported this week at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in San Francisco.

The levels of HIV fell below the expected levels in seven of the eight patients, the team found. Signs of the virus disappeared altogether in one patient, although that happens sometimes -- it's not an indication that the disease is cured -- and the researchers aren't sure why it happened in this case.

"We need to understand why it happened and see if we can reproduce that in the general population," Tebas said.

It's still early in the development of the treatment: the current research is in phase 2 of the customary three phases of research that new medical treatments go through.

If gene therapy does become a treatment for HIV patients, it may be best for those who aren't doing well on existing antiretroviral drugs, said John Rossi, chairman of the molecular and cellular biology department at the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope Medical Center near Los Angeles.

"There are thousands of people who are completely resistant to all the drugs that are out there, and this is one more option they could have," Rossi said.

But the cost of the treatment would probably be high, he added, perhaps reaching around $20,000. And it's not clear how long the treatment would last, he said, since the immune cells aren't permanent.

More information

There's more on gene therapy for another condition, cancer, at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.



SOURCES: Pablo Tebas, M.D., associate professor, medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; John Rossi, Ph.D., chairman, department of molecular and cellular biology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, Calif.; presentation, Feb. 18, 2010, Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, San Francisco


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Vision restoration therapy shown to improve brain activity in brain injured patients
2. HIV therapy in pregnancy-data support WHO recommendations
3. Family-based treatment more effective than supportive psychotherapy in treating bulimia
4. Trial to Test Gene Therapy for Angina in Women
5. One of the Largest Post-WHI Physician Surveys Shows More Education is Needed: Patient Misinformation About Hormone Therapy Remains High
6. Aromatherapy Gift Line Sheds Humorous Light on Modern Therapy
7. Chemotherapy may be culprit for fatigue in breast cancer survivors
8. Atlanta Falcons Physical Therapy Centers Set to Launch This Fall
9. New Drug No Substitute for Standard Blood-Clot Therapy
10. Stem Cell Therapy Disappoints Against Rare Kidney Ailment
11. Nucletron Announces Management Buy-Out to More Effectively Meet the Demands of Its Customers and the Radiation Therapy Community
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media Slicing Effect ... videos a whole new perspective by using the title layers in ProSlice Levels ... , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. FCPX ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American Institutes ... Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. , ... advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR researchers ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency ... named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. ... Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom ... of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result ... more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... PASADENA, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. ... he would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, ... table, he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... , June 26, 2016 ... care operating models within the health care industry is ... financial efficiency , Deloitte offers a suite of ... business issues impacting efficient cost optimization: labor resource analysis, ... These services facilitate better outcomes and better economics ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Bay Area ... Network,s Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness ... and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, ... today announced the five finalists of Lyme ... disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... BEIJING , June 24, 2016 Dehaier ... or the "Company"), which develops, markets and sells medical ... China , signed a strategic cooperation agreement with ... as "Hongyuan Supply Chain") on June 20, 2016, to ... Under the strategic cooperation agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: