Anti-cancer drug found to be helpful in getting rid of hidden HIV virus; Research

HIVResearchers have found the way to flush out the hidden AIDS virus in the body.

This research has been done by a team of researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill.

[hana-code-insert name=’StumbleUpon’ /][hana-code-insert name=’Reddit’ /] Researchers have used the drug, which is used for the treatment of lymphoma, to remove the hidden AIDS virus that is the most critical step in the treatment of AIDS. Most of the conventional drugs are helpful in treating the infection but are not able to remove the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) from the body.

“Lifelong use of antiretroviral therapy is problematic for many reasons, not least among them are drug resistance, side effects, and cost,” said David Margolis, MD, professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology, and epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We need to employ better long-term strategies, including a cure.”

Researchers worked on 6 patients of HIV-infection while using the drug vorinostat, which is an oncology drug. They found that this drug is helpful in targeting the enzyme that keeps the HIV hidden in certain CD4+ T cells, which are specialized immune system cells.

“This proves for the first time that there are ways to specifically treat viral latency, the first step towards curing HIV infection,” said Margolis, who led the study.  “It shows that this class of drugs, HDAC inhibitors, can attack persistent virus.  Vorinostat may not be the magic bullet, but this success shows us a new way to test drugs to target latency, and suggests that we can build a path that may lead to a cure.”

The results of the research were presented on March 8 at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle, Washington.

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