Treatment News : New Hope for HIV Eradication

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June 5, 2009

New Hope for HIV Eradication

Researchers may finally be on track to get at the HIV that hides inside cells and keeps the infection going; if so, they could perhaps eradicate the virus from the body entirely, according to an article published in the July issue of Retrovirology. The latest research expands on the mixed results of earlier studies of valproic acid (Depakote), an epilepsy treatment that demonstrated potential as a method of purging HIV from its cellular hiding places.  

After protease inhibitors were approved, researchers hoped that the new combination antiretroviral (ARV) therapy would be potent enough to burn out HIV infection over time. It soon became apparent, however, that no matter how strong the drugs are and how long a person’s virus levels remain undetectable, HIV can still hide out inside dormant cells and bring the infection flaring back to life once ARV meds are stopped. Therapies initially studied to reawaken these cells succeeded in forcing them to purge their HIV payload, but the therapies caused too much immune system inflammation. In other words, while they “turned on” the dormant cells, they also created so many susceptible uninfected CD4 cells that the ARV drugs couldn’t protect them.  

What was needed, researchers argued, was a drug that could force out the HIV hiding within these cells without activating immune system cells at the same time. One such approach that has gained a lot of attention in recent years is the inhibition of histone deacetylase (HDAC), an enzyme believed to play a key role in maintaining HIV inside long-lived resting cells.

An early experiment with the HDAC inhibitor valproic acid proved promising. But another round of studies, reported a few years later in 2005, failed to show that valproic acid significantly affected the recalcitrant reservoirs of HIV-infected cells.

Four years later, Andrea Savarino, MD, PhD, from the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome, and his colleagues have published the results of a study looking at a different HDAC inhibitor—entinostat (MS-275), currently being explored as an anti-cancer drug. Savarino’s group was able to awaken dormant cells, gain access to the hidden virus and kill it; however, they had to use doses of MS-275 that may be toxic to humans.

The researchers then tried using lower doses of entinostat in combination with buthionine sulfoximine, an experimental cancer drug that strips unhealthy cells of glutathione, a protective antioxidant. This approach was much more successful, allowing researchers to get at all of the hidden HIV without producing toxic effects. The authors plan to take their research next into animal models, and they remain hopeful about the potential for HIV eradication.

Search: HIV eradication, valproic acid, Depakote, HIV latency, dormant cells, histone deacetylase, HDAC, entinostat, MS-275, buthionine sulfoximine, Andrea Savarino


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  comments 1 - 15 (of 30 total)     next > >>

blessingOFselenium, , 2010-07-21 18:06:28
OMG!!! The lack of Glutathione is what causes the progression to AIDS! The virus steals glutathione from our liver body to live and reproduce. We need it for our immune system and liver for energy. Simply strengthen the immune system, it over powers the virus and brings down the viral load on its own. Do this with plant based selenium 200mcg twice a day with vitamin D 1,000 mg a day and 2 cups of green tea EVERY day and watch your viral load drop!

mekus, lagos, 2010-06-03 09:42:26
i am praying tod to give this researchers the grace to find the full cure for hiv befor this year runs out,alot of souls are dieing and i will be going for hiv test next month and i am already dieing befor the test because i had unsafe sex amonth ago and infected with gonorrhea for sex that lasted for about 2 mins,so i am now afraid and paranoid for the hiv test.

sibongile, south africa, 2010-05-06 08:33:10
I'm hiv + I'm happy to hear this news and I hope this cure will soon come out.

Maria, ithaca , NY, 2010-04-25 11:03:58
Well about time! finally geting some work done. Bravo!! please hurry we are losing loved ones daily.. From one who has lost a loved one to this terrible disease.

brown_dog, , 2010-01-04 21:29:22
i am glad to know that they are tring to get that cure

Yinegal, bahirdar, 2009-12-04 07:48:43
first of all I would like to appreciate your effort for the opening of a new era.I and my wife are living with hiv and we have a seven years old child.If this finding could be timely and distributed fairly you would save the lifes of the world.If this could happen you are really prophets send to us by God. Hopefully it will. you better inform us your progres at different levels.This would give- we the poor living with hiv hope. Thank you.

FREDERICK WRIGHT, TAMPA, 2009-10-14 15:58:01
I AM HAPPY TO HEAR THE WORD CURE BEING USED FOR A GOAL WITHIN AIDS, AND TO INSURE THE FOLKS IN THE RX COMPANIES AND PEOPLE WORKING IN THE AIDS INDUSRTRIES OR AIDS INC IN AMERICA THAT IT IS OK TO USE THE WORD CURE AND THAT OTHER JOBS WILL COME AROUND IF A CURE FOR AIDS IS UNVIELED. I HOPE MORE HIV/AIDS ADVOCATES WILL GET ON THE CURE FOR AIDS ADGENDA.

jitendra shinde, india (nashik), 2009-10-10 10:47:49
research work what i red here is really very promissing. and will give atleast a hope for people. i am a biotech students and want to do work on hiv.

Barry, , 2009-10-04 23:55:40
Is anyone familiar with the PH I HIV trial that is underway at UPenn? SB-728. makes the system immune to HIV. Like the German patient that was treated in Germany over 2 years ago, by infusing with GM CCR5 delta 32 gene. Same as those people that are naturally immiune to HIV. There should be early report from UPenn in Dec, if not sooner. A second PH I trial has been approved by FDA, Sangamo Biosciences will run the trial. watching waiting

Dan, , 2009-09-09 17:33:53
Finally I believe I have seen some hope having been a guinea for some drigs in the past. To feel whole again would be a miracle in itself. Praise the Lord !

Arthur Gittleman, Bella Vista Ar, 2009-09-05 10:59:50
I work on FIV and my concern it not curing the disease but undoing the first few days damage to the immune system. I may be able to get rid of the virus but the immune system damage is a problem. So I will be looking at this problem as already I have noted how to turn FIV positive to negative. Besides the treatment for FIV is nothing more than some untoxic herbs and supplements as HIV drugs are a poor treatment. Only bother is giving it each day to a feline but comes with eating

Jay, Atlanta, 2009-08-19 16:22:44
I love the thought that someday there will be a cure for HIV, but am inclined to believe pharmaceutical companies would invest billions in ensuring that it is not found in my or your lifetime. Perhaps they will devise a vaccine instead... let the rest of us suffer and pay for it. But I no more believe these companies will commit corporate suicide than I do in the easter bunny delivering my Atripla in a colored egg.

Steven, Irvine, 2009-08-18 14:43:35
Although it will take some time to further the tests and results to find a cure, It's puts a huge smile on my face to think that one day in the future, we all might have a chance to purge this curse from our bodies, and once again join the norms of society

MARK, , 2009-08-17 17:50:34
now THATS exciting news

John, Seattle, 2009-08-04 12:34:53
After reading the full text version of the article online at Retrovirology.com, it was encouraging to read that the two drugs used in their research model "have passed class I clinical trials for safety in humans and are therefore ready for testing in animal models." While you never want to become too hopeful about any experimental treatment that's still in its infancy, it is encouraging to think that one day we might be able to eradicate this virus from our bodies.

comments 1 - 15 (of 30 total)     next > >>


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