September 25, 2022

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Cancer drug can help clear latent HIV virus

Cancer drug can help clear latent HIV virus



 

Cancer drug can help clear latent HIV virus. 

 

AIDS (HIV)is short for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome , caused by infection with HIV virus . HIV is a virus that can attack the human immune system.

It takes the most important CD4+ T cells in the human immune system as the main target of attack, and destroys the cells in large quantities.

The development of AIDS patients will cause the body to lose its immune function.

Due to the extreme decline in resistance, various infections will occur. In the later stage, malignant tumors often occur, and even systemic failure leads to death.

 

According to the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, the number of people living with HIV and AIDS worldwide is as high as 38 million , and the number is still growing rapidly.

 

HIV virus is a retrovirus. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) developed for the reverse transcription process of HIV virus allows AIDS patients to survive for a long time.

Long-term medication to suppress the HIV virus in the body.

Once the medication is stopped, these HIV viruses can come back quickly.

 

Therefore, only by clearing the dormant HIV virus hidden in T cells and eliminating the HIV virus reservoir can we truly cure AIDS.

 

Recently, a research team from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and other institutions in the United States published a research paper entitled: Pembrolizumab induces HIV latency reversal in people living with HIV and cancer on antiretroviral therapy in the journal Science Translational Medicine .

 

The study showed that the anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody Pembrolizumab for cancer treatment can help clear the dormant HIV virus lurking in the cells of AIDS patients, which has found a new direction for curing AIDS.

 

Cancer drug can help clear latent HIV virus

 

In HIV-infected individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) , HIV persists in T cells in a latent form, with minimal HIV transcription and protein expression. Latent HIV T cells are a major obstacle to curing AIDS.

Increasing the transcription and viral production of these latent HIV viruses can facilitate the immune system to recognize and reduce these viral reservoirs. CD4+ T cells expressing PD-1 are the cell type that HIV mainly attacks, so PD-1 is a potential target for manipulating HIV reservoirs.

 

The research team treated 32 HIV-infected cancer patients on antiretroviral therapy with pembrolizumab and explored its effect on the patients’ HIV repertoire.

The trade name of pembrolizumab is Keytruda , also known as K drug for short. diseases such as lung cancer.

 

Cancer drug can help clear latent HIV virus

 

For these HIV-infected cancer patients who were already receiving antiretroviral drugs (ART) , the team gave them injections of Pembrolizumab every three weeks .

 

After the first infusion, there was a 1.32-fold increase in median unspliced ​​HIV RNA and a 1.61-fold increase in unspliced ​​RNA:DNA ratio in CD4+ T cells in blood compared to baseline levels, and plasma was also observed HIV RNA increased 1.65-fold.

 

After 6 cycles of treatment, the number of T cells harboring HIV-inducing or replicating HIV increased 1.44-fold, and as T cells replicated the virus, anti-PD-1 therapy could help antiretroviral drugs attack hidden HIV Virus.

 

Cancer drug can help clear latent HIV virus

 

These data suggest that anti-PD-1 mAbs may help reverse HIV viral latency, and support the combination of anti-PD-1 mAbs with other interventions to reduce the HIV reservoir and thus aid in the treatment and even cure of AIDS .

 

The team said they had previously studied another anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody, Opdivo , developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, to treat HIV-infected cancer patients, but had not shown it to help clear Hidden HIV Repository.

 

In fact, this is not the first attempt to treat AIDS by reversing the latent HIV virus, but previous studies have failed.

 

It is worth mentioning that at the end of 2021, the FDA approved Excision ‘s CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology-based therapy EBT-101 for human clinical trials for the treatment of AIDS.

 

Previously, the company successfully edited and eliminated the SIV-a virus closely related to HIV in the genome of non-human primates, a major step forward in AIDS research.

The breakthrough also brings humanity closer than ever to developing a complete cure for AIDS.

 

Cancer drug can help clear latent HIV virus

 

 

Reference:
https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/scitranslmed.abl3836
https://www.excision.bio/technology

Cancer drug can help clear latent HIV virus

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