Breaking News
January 22, 2019 - Blood marker could aid in early prediction of Alzheimer’s progression
January 22, 2019 - Orthodontic treatment does not guarantee future dental health
January 22, 2019 - Rutgers researchers discover cause of bone loss in people with joint replacements
January 22, 2019 - Diversity among rural Africans extends to their gut microbiomes
January 22, 2019 - Newly developed biological system lets cells to create self-curving cornea
January 22, 2019 - VTv Therapeutics Announces Publication of Comprehensive Data in Science Translational Medicine Detailing the Discovery and Clinical Development of TTP399, including Results of Phase 2 AGATA Study
January 22, 2019 - about one in three adults with prediabetes has arthritis
January 22, 2019 - A look at how data is democratizing health care
January 22, 2019 - Alcohol-Linked Disease Overtakes Hep C As Top Reason For Liver Transplant
January 22, 2019 - Researchers identify new genes linked with age-related macular degeneration
January 22, 2019 - MPFI researchers identify synaptic logic for connections between two brain hemispheres
January 22, 2019 - New study extends our knowledge of the link between miRNAs and cancer
January 22, 2019 - Genetic changes may predict likelihood of relapse in breast cancer patients
January 22, 2019 - Antiepileptic drug use by people with Alzheimer’s disease linked to accumulation of hospital days
January 22, 2019 - IUPUI researcher receives $2.85 million grant to find ways to improve bone strength
January 22, 2019 - Precision medicine can help keep astronauts healthy during deep space missions
January 22, 2019 - Detecting signs of neurodegeneration earlier and more accurately
January 22, 2019 - Mouse studies challenge ‘inhibition’ theory of autism
January 22, 2019 - SSB launches BIOSTAT RM TX single-use bioreactor for producing consistent quality cellular products
January 22, 2019 - Experimental drug can positively modify key characteristic behavior in FXS patients
January 22, 2019 - Low-Income Women Lack Menstrual Hygiene Supplies
January 22, 2019 - Better mouse model built to enable precision-medicine research for Alzheimer’s
January 22, 2019 - Molecular profiling of precancerous lung lesions could lead to early detection and new treatments
January 22, 2019 - Genetic factors influence where fat is stored in our bodies
January 22, 2019 - The Psychology Behind Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions
January 22, 2019 - Scientists aim to find genetic causes of developmental abnormalities in the vagina and uterus
January 22, 2019 - New survey reveals scale of preventative healthcare challenge in the UK
January 22, 2019 - Looming Global Crisis Means People’s Diets Must Change: Experts
January 22, 2019 - Excessive social media use is comparable to drug addiction
January 22, 2019 - Researchers show how mechanical stress affects bone development
January 22, 2019 - Study takes a step closer to understanding the body’s response to opioid painkillers
January 22, 2019 - Unexpected connection found between feeding and memory centers of the brain
January 22, 2019 - A revolutionary approach transforms bone trauma treatment
January 22, 2019 - Early studies and recent clinical trials on nerve growth factor
January 22, 2019 - Dry Mouth and Older Adults: Information for Caregivers
January 22, 2019 - Are your grandparents getting tipsy at the holiday party?
January 22, 2019 - New machine learning algorithms identify early symptoms of urinary tract infections
January 22, 2019 - Young women skipping the Pap smear test due to embarrassment
January 22, 2019 - A global influenza pandemic high on the WHO’s agenda
January 22, 2019 - Amgen Makes All Repatha (evolocumab) Device Options Available In The US At A 60 Percent Reduced List Price
January 22, 2019 - Elastronics—hydrogel-based microelectronics for localized low-voltage neuromodulation
January 22, 2019 - Branched-chain amino acids in tumors can be targeted to prevent and treat cancer
January 22, 2019 - Fueling macrophages with energy to attack and eat cancer cells
January 22, 2019 - Amgen And UCB Receive Positive Vote From FDA Advisory Committee In Favor Of Approval For Evenity (romosozumab)
January 22, 2019 - Does being bilingual make children more focused? Study says no
January 22, 2019 - Study reveals new genes and biological pathways linked to osteoarthritis
January 22, 2019 - FSU study provides better understanding of spinal cord injuries
January 22, 2019 - Delaying bath for newborn babies increases breastfeeding rates, finds study
January 21, 2019 - WHO identifies non-communicable diseases as major threat to human health
January 21, 2019 - Many parents still try non-evidence-based cold prevention methods for children
January 21, 2019 - High Levels of Activity, Motor Ability Linked to Better Cognition
January 21, 2019 - Killer blows? Knockout study of pair of mouse MicroRNA provides cancer insight
January 21, 2019 - Buffalo researchers receive grant to quicken development of generic equivalents of contraceptives
January 21, 2019 - One-third of pregnant women do not believe cannabis is harmful to their fetus
January 21, 2019 - Fiderstat could be used as chemopreventative drug for intestinal cancers caused by APC gene mutations
January 21, 2019 - Modifying healthcare delivery practices may improve discussions between youth and healthcare providers
January 21, 2019 - UNIST researcher named as recipient of Merck’s 2018 Life Science Awards
January 21, 2019 - How Getting a Flu Shot Could Save Your Life
January 21, 2019 - Surgical adhesions can be treated, prevented in mice
January 21, 2019 - Increased physician-targeted marketing associated with higher opioid overdose deaths
January 21, 2019 - Researchers uncover specific microbial signatures of intestinal disease
January 21, 2019 - Researchers discover new blood vessel system in bones
January 21, 2019 - Simple blood test reliably detects signs of Alzheimer’s damage before symptoms
January 21, 2019 - Study to investigate new targeted oral treatments for severe asthma
January 21, 2019 - Plan Your Plate | NIH News in Health
January 21, 2019 - Fecal occult blood test may improve CRC outcomes in some
January 21, 2019 - Blood test detects Alzheimer’s disease years before symptoms develop
January 21, 2019 - Mount Sinai joins with Paradigm and ReqMed to repurpose drug for treatment of MPS
January 21, 2019 - FDA Advisory Committee Votes on Zynquista (sotagliflozin) as Treatment for Adults with Type 1 Diabetes
January 21, 2019 - The causes and complications of snoring
January 21, 2019 - Placenta adapts and compensates when pregnant mothers have poor diets or low oxygen
January 21, 2019 - New implant could restore the transmission of electrical signals in injured central nervous system
January 21, 2019 - Rapid-acting fentanyl test strips found to be effective at reducing overdose risk
January 21, 2019 - Coronary Artery Calcium May Help Predict CVD in South Asians
January 21, 2019 - The mystery of the super-ager
January 21, 2019 - Scientists develop smart microrobots that can change shape depending on their surroundings
January 21, 2019 - Keep Moving to Keep Brain Sharp in Old Age
January 21, 2019 - Despite progress, gay fathers and their children still structurally stigmatized
January 21, 2019 - New drug for treating liver parasites in vivax malaria
January 21, 2019 - Merck recognized with 2018 Life Science Industry Award for best use of social media
Could gene therapy someday eliminate HIV?

Could gene therapy someday eliminate HIV?

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

(HealthDay)—Gene therapy may have the potential to eradicate HIV in people infected with the virus, new animal research suggests.

The science centers around the use of “chimeric antigen receptor” (CAR) genes. In laboratory work with monkeys, these engineered cells have destroyed HIV-infected cells for more than two years, scientists reported.

“Theoretically, the goal is to provide a lifelong immunity to HIV,” said study co-author Scott Kitchen, of the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine.

“We’re aiming for a cure,” he said. “And we know that to cure HIV you need an effective immune response, which is what we’re seeing here.” Kitchen is an associate professor of medicine with the division of hematology and oncology.

Scientists have been searching for a way to create long-term immunity to HIV, the AIDS-causing virus. Currently, antiretroviral therapy is prescribed to keep HIV under control, but this doesn’t eliminate the virus from the body.

Kitchen explained the new strategy this way: “In terms of basic immunology, T-cells are the cells that are largely responsible for our ability to fight off pathogens and get rid of infections in the body. Malignancies. Anything abnormal.

“Every T-cell has a unique receptor, or molecule, on it. That receptor allows the cell to recognize a specific target—a bacteria, or fungus or virus. And when it recognizes that target, it’s called into duty to clear it from the body,” Kitchen said.

“What we’ve done is to take artificial receptors—or CAR—that can go on to these cells and allow them to recognize what we want them to recognize,” he noted. “In this case that’s HIV.”

The goal is to develop “a reverse vaccination, in which we engineer an immune response to target HIV,” he added.

The concept of engineering chimeric antigen receptors dates back about 20 years, according to Kitchen. And CAR T-cell therapy has been touted as a treatment for a range of cancers.

“That’s a good thing, because it means we already know it’s safe,” he said.

What’s new is the research team’s dual use of stem cells and CAR to target a form of HIV.

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

First, the team genetically engineered CAR to find and bind to simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV), a lab-engineered HIV hybrid composed of human virus and monkey virus.

Then the researchers modified the DNA of certain blood-forming stem cells so they would carry SHIV-killing CAR.

The resulting cells were introduced into the bloodstream of four male juvenile SHIV-infected macaque monkeys.

The engineered cells successfully took up residence in each monkey’s bone marrow. The cells moved widely throughout the body, targeting and killing SHIV-infected cells, without producing any notable adverse side effects, the researchers reported.

“The advantage of the stem cell-based approach is that once these cells are grafted into the body, they continuously produce new T-cells that have this gene in them that can target HIV cells,” Kitchen explained.

Plans are underway for a human trial, which should get going within two to three years, Kitchen said.

“There is, of course, a big leap to be made when you go from animal studies to human studies,” he cautioned. However, “this study shows both that these cells will respond to HIV and that it’s safe.”

Also, this strategy is unlikely to fully work on its own, Kitchen added, noting that “HIV is highly complex. So there’s not really going to be one silver bullet.”

Kitchen said CAR will most likely need to be used alongside antiretroviral therapy.

Marcella Flores is associate director of research for amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research), which helped fund the study. She expressed both enthusiasm and caution.

“CAR therapy is already leading to impressive results in cancer and holds promise for HIV eradication,” she noted.

However, Flores stressed that the current study conditions “do not represent ‘real life’ conditions.” While these monkey studies have important implications for human outcomes, she said the results in humans may be quite different.

The study results were published in the Dec. 28 issue of PLOS Pathogens.


Explore further:
Gene therapy using CAR T-cells could provide long-term protection against HIV

More information:
Scott G. Kitchen, Ph.D., associate professor, medicine, division of hematology and oncology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles; Marcella Flores, MPH, Ph.D., associate director, research, amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research), New York City; Dec. 28, 2017, PLOS Pathogens

There’s more on HIV at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Journal reference:
PLoS Pathogens

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles