Cancer Treatment May Play Key Role In HIV Cure
Could a cancer treatment be the key to curing HIV? Researchers are hopeful.
Ekaterina Dadachova, a radiology, microbiology, and immunology professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine has found that radioimmunotherapy, which is widely used to fight cancer, may potentially be used in conjunction with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to create a permanent cure for HIV.
In her team's research HIV infection was reduced to undetectable levels after they administered radioimmunotherapy to HIV-infected white blood cells, in blood samples from people who already received HAART.
According to Dadachova (via Gay Star News):
‘To combat HIV, we need a method that will completely eliminate all HIV-infected cells without damaging non-infected cells.’
Nearly nine million adults worldwide living with HIV receive antiretroviral therapy.
But while HAART keeps the virus from multiplying, it does not cure patients because it cannot completely eliminate the HIV-infected cells in which the virus can replicate.
Dadachova presented the findings at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.
She said she had found radioimmunotherapy offers ‘real potential for being developed into an HIV cure.’
In radioimmunotherapy, radioactive isotopes attached to antibodies selectively target and destroy cells.
After the antibodies deliver the radioisotope to a specific target, such as a cancer cell, the radioisotope delivers a lethal dose of radiation without harming healthy cells.
‘The elimination of HIV-infected cells with RIT was profound and specific,’ Dadachova added.
‘The radionuclide we used delivered radiation only to HIV-infected cells without damaging nearby cells.’
So far the study has only been conducted on blood samples and lab models. Trials with human subjects would be the next step.
What do you think of the study's findings, Instincters?