Treatment News : Kaletra/Isentress Shows Promise as HIV Nuceleoside-Sparing Regimen for First-Line Treatment - by Tim Horn

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Treatment News » July 2010

Most Popular Links
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

20 Years Ago In POZ

More Treatment News

Click here for more news

Have news about HIV? Send press releases, news tips and other announcements to


July 19, 2010

Kaletra/Isentress Shows Promise as HIV Nuceleoside-Sparing Regimen for First-Line Treatment

by Tim Horn

A nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)-sparing regimen consisting of Kaletra (lopinavir and ritonavir) plus Isentress (raltegravir) is comparable with a standard regimen consisting of Kaletra plus Truvada (tenofovir and emtricitabine) in people living with HIV starting antiretroviral (ARV) therapy for the first time, according to 48-week study results reported Monday, July 19, at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna.

Standard regimens for treatment-naive people living with HIV usually consist of two NRTIs plus either a protease inhibitor or a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). Though such pairings are preferred, based on long-term safety and efficacy data reviewed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in its HIV treatment guidelines, there has been an interest in using NRTI-sparing regimens, notably for those who experience side effects while using approved options or are believed to be at a high risk for NRTI-related toxicities (such as kidney damage).

Early data from the 96-week PROGRESS study, reported by Jacques Reynes, MD, of the University Hospital Center of Montpellier, France, and his colleagues, illustrate the potential of one such NRTI-sparing regimen. The open-label study—meaning everyone knows which drugs they are taking—has enrolled 101 patients to receive Kaletra plus twice-daily Isentress and 105 patients to receive Kaletra plus Truvada. The primary endpoint of the study is the percentage of patients with viral loads below 40 copies—undetectable—after 48 weeks of treatment.

Viral loads averaged 18,000 copies upon entering the study; CD4 counts averaged 293.5 cells. Approximately 85 percent of the study participants were men and approximately 75 percent were white.

A similar proportion of study volunteers in each arm discontinued treatment prematurely during the initial 48-week follow-up period: 12 percent in the Kaletra/Isentress group and 11 percent in the Kaletra/Truvada group. 

A similar proportion of patients had undetectable viral loads when treated with Kaletra/Isentress, compared with Kaletra/Truvada. About 83 percent had viral loads below 40 copies in the Kaletra/Isentress group, Reynes reported, compared with 85 percent in the Kaletra/Truvada group.

The average CD4 increases through 48 weeks were also similar. There was a 215-CD4 cell increase in the Kaletra/Isentress group, compared with a 245-CD4 cell increase in the Kaletra/Truvada group. This difference was not statistically significant, meaning that it could have been a result of chance. 

The authors also noted that no new protease mutations associated with Kaletra resistance developed in the study in either treatment group. An Isentress-associated resistance mutation was observed in one patients receiving Kaletra/Isentress, whereas an emtricitabine-associated resistance mutation was observed in one patients receiving Kaletra/Truvada.

Moderate-to-severe drug-related adverse effects were similar in both groups. The most common side effect was diarrhea, occurring in 8 percent of those receiving Kaletra/Isentress versus 13 percent of those receiving Kaletra/Truvada—this difference was not statistically significant. Lipid elevations—notably average increases in cholesterol and triglyceride levels—were observed more frequently in the Kaletra/Isentress group. Elevations in creatine phosphokinase levels were also more likely to occur among those receiving Kaletra/Isentress.

“The 48-week PROGRESS study results, while not definitive, suggest that the nucleoside-sparing HIV regimen of Kaletra and Isentress may be an alternative treatment option for patients new to HIV therapy, when compared to a standard HIV regimen,” Reynes concluded. “This further advances our research into new HIV treatment classes and explores the use of alternative drug combinations for patients.”

Search: Kaletra, lopinavir, ritonavir, Isentress, raltegravir, Truvada, tenofovir, emtricitabine, PROGRESS, Vienna, International AIDS Conference, Reynes

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Show comments (0 total)

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.