Will immunotherapy be successful for treating diseases like HIV/AIDS?

FAQs об исследованиях
HIV integrates into CD4+ T cells, gradually depleting their numbers and resulting in immunocompromised individuals and leading to AIDS onset if left untreated. Current therapies geared towards managing HIV-progression to AIDS largely consist of anti-retrovirals. Combination treatment involving several antiretrovirals slows down AIDS progression but does not cure HIV infection. Additionally, long-term use of anti-retrovirals results in side effects such as premature aging and the rise of other comorbidities such as heart disease and cancer.

The discovery of the “Berlin Patient”, an HIV-positive individual who was cured of his infection when receiving a modified form of immunotherapy for treating acute myeloid leukemia. Upon receiving stem cell transplants from a donor containing a fortified gene for T cells, this patient went on to demonstrate efficient recovery without the use of anti-retrovirals.1 This case renewed efforts into investigating immunotherapies that target immune cells such as dendritic cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Several clinical trials are currently in progress to determine long-term safety and efficacy, and it is conceivable that immunotherapy will be used as a standard form of HIV treatment in the future.2 For more information on immunotherapy and other related topics please visit our resource center.

References:
1. A. Ali and C. R. Rinaldo, "A Novel anti-HIV immunotherapy to cure HIV," AIDS 31(3):447-449, 2017.
2. D. Tomsitz, et al., "Treatment of a patient with HIV and metastatic melanoma with consecutive ipilimumab and nivolumabm," J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 32(1):26-28, 2017.