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January 6, 2011

California: Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers

The Body: "San Francisco researchers led by Dr. Jacob Lalezari are looking for HIV-positive volunteers to participate in a groundbreaking study that uses gene therapy to modify patients' immune systems.

"The study is based on work conducted in Germany on an HIV-positive man treated for leukemia. In 2007, the man received a bone marrow transplant from a donor with a rare genetic mutation that eliminates the CCR5 protein from the immune system. Without CCR5, HIV is unable to enter and infect T-cells. Three years after the transplant, HIV is undetectable in the patient.

"Lalezari, medical director at Quest Clinical Research and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco, and his team are exploring a less invasive approach. Rather than undergo a costly and painful bone marrow transplant, volunteers will have their blood filtered to extract immune cells. Those cells will then be treated with a zinc finger nuclease that will remove the gene that produces the CCR5 protein. Following cultivation for about three months, a large dose of treated immune cells will be re-infused in the originating patient in the hope they "take root" and replace vulnerable cells.

"The treatment is expected to be painless and carry a relatively low risk of side effects."


Anonymous said...

i would love to be a volunter if anybody have got any kind of information about this please let my know on here.