More hope for genetic fix for HIV

Genetically modifying the stem cells of HIV patients may one day prove to be an effective, one-time therapy against the hard-to-kill virus, according to the results of a proof-of-principle trial published this week in Science Translational Medicine. Human Immunodeficiency VirusImage: Wikimedia commons, NIAIDIn contrast to the widely used highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), which patients must continue for their entire lives to control the virus, such a genetic treatment has the potent

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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Jun 15, 2010
Genetically modifying the stem cells of HIV patients may one day prove to be an effective, one-time therapy against the hard-to-kill virus, according to the results of a proof-of-principle trial published this week in Science Translational Medicine.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Image: Wikimedia commons,
NIAID
In contrast to the widely used highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), which patients must continue for their entire lives to control the virus, such a genetic treatment has the potential to be "a single administration therapy," said bioengineer linkurl:David Schaffer;http://www.cchem.berkeley.edu/schaffer/ of the University of California at Berkeley, who was not involved in the trial, "where you introduce [a gene] into somebody's cells, and it stays there the rest of their lives. [That] has the potential to be a major plus," eliminating many of the toxic effects and financial costs of HAART. Because of these potential advantages, gene therapy -- the integration of new genetic material...
The New England Journal of Medicine



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