Thursday 15 November 2018

Cancer drug could hold cure for HIV sufferers

Stock image
Stock image

John Von Radowitz

A new generation cancer drug holds out the hope of a "cure" for HIV patients, research has shown.

Doctors made the discovery while using the immunotherapy drug nivolumab to treat a lung cancer patient with the Aids virus.

They observed a "drastic and persistent" decrease in the number of infected white blood cells shielding the virus from attack by anti-retroviral therapy.

Under normal circumstances, the virus lies hidden and dormant in the cells - ready to re-emerge and carry on spreading if treatment is stopped at any time.

Professor Jean-Philippe Spano, who led the medical team in Paris, said: "Increasingly, researchers have been looking into the use of certain drugs that appear to re-activate the latent HIV-infected cells.

"This could have the effect of making them visible to the immune system, which could then attack them.

!The absence of side effects is also good news, and suggests this could be an optimum treatment for HIV-infected patients with cancer."

Irish Independent

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