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Author Topic: Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers  (Read 3688 times)

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Offline Inchlingblue

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Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers
« on: December 23, 2010, 02:35:26 PM »
A goundbreaking new study being conducted in the Bay Area may hold the key to curing HIV, but time is running short to find volunteers.

The research is based on work with the so-called Berlin Patient, a Berlin resident who was HIV-positive in 2007 when he received a bone marrow transplant to treat his leukemia. The bone marrow donor had a rare genetic mutation that researchers believe provides immunity from most forms of HIV. Three years after treatment, HIV is undetectable in the man.

The man recently identified himself as Timothy Ray Brown in an interview in Stern magazine. Brown, 44, is a U.S. citizen who lives in Berlin.

Brown's donor's mutation only exists in about 1 percent of the population, and eliminates a specific protein, CCR5, from the immune system. Without CCR5, HIV is unable to enter and infect T cells.

Researchers are now hoping to duplicate that result in an ongoing study led by Dr. Jacob Lalezari. Lalezari has studied HIV since 1989, and is currently the medical director at Quest Clinical Research, a research facility that specializes in front-line studies of emerging virology, and an assistant clinical professor at UCSF Mt. Zion Hospital.

"We've enrolled more people with HIV in studies than anyone else on the planet," he said of his research group.

The study will explore a less invasive version of Brown's treatment. Rather than undergoing a costly and painful bone marrow transplant, researchers will attempt to modify patients' existing immune systems through gene therapy.

Patients in the study will have their blood filtered to extract immune system cells. Those cells will then be treated with a zinc finger nuclease that will remove the gene that produces the CCR5 protein. After being cultivated for about three months, a large dose of treated immune system cells will be placed back into the originating patient, in the hopes that they will "take root" and replace the vulnerable cells.


Patients will be tracked with once-monthly check-ins for a year, and then periodically for the remainder of their lives.

The treatment is expected to be painless and carry a relatively low risk of side effects, since patients will receive modified versions of their own cells. Brown, in contrast, received chemotherapy and immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection of the transplanted bone marrow.

Currently, the process of filtering, cultivating, and re-introducing T cells costs about a quarter million dollars per patient, Lalezari said, although he expects that cost to significantly decrease if the process becomes widespread. That's still less than the hundreds of thousands of dollars in health care costs facing those with HIV over the course of their lives.

But finding volunteers for the study has proven difficult, since patients must fit a very specific profile. Researchers are searching for HIV-positive volunteers who have not taken anti-viral drugs in the last 12 weeks, who are negative for hepatitis B and C, and whose T cell count is above 500.

Lalezari is optimistic that the study is a significant step forward on the road to curing HIV, though only time will tell whether the treatment is a long-term success.

"Do I know [Brown] is cured? I don't know," he said. "But we can call him cured. It's no longer evident in his tissues or in his spinal fluid."

Those who are interested in participating in the study can reach Quest for more information at (415) 353-0800, or at drjay@questclinical.com.



LINK:

http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=5343
« Last Edit: December 23, 2010, 02:41:38 PM by Inchlingblue »

Offline hellrider

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Re: Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2010, 02:44:32 PM »
I just sent him an email I hope he answers it.
Life's a hell of a ride and I still have some ridin to do.

12/8/2010 CD4 693   VL 192,000

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2010, 03:45:48 PM »
I just sent him an email I hope he answers it.

They expect people to be off meds for at least 12 weeks. I guess that means those who are treatment-naive? It's too risky to just stop taking meds for 12 weeks.

Offline wtfimpoz

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Re: Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2010, 03:50:11 PM »
Is this the same study that Matt sharp is enrolled in?
09/01/2009-neg
mid april, 2010, "flu like illness".
06/01/2010-weakly reactive ELISA, indeterminant WB
06/06/2010-reactive ELISA, confirmed positive.

DATE       CD4     %     VL
07/15/10  423     33    88k
08/28/10  489     19    189k
09/06/10-Started ATRIPLA
09/15/10  420     38    1400
11/21/10  517     25    51

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2010, 03:53:13 PM »
Is this the same study that Matt sharp is enrolled in?

I don't think it's the same exact one, there are several studies using ZFN as well as other methods for removing CCR5.

Offline TabooPrincess

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Re: Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2010, 04:01:45 PM »
Sounds interesting, presume not open to those in UK
09/ 2008 - Seroconversion
11/2008 - Tested pos, cd4 640 vl 25400
12/2008 - cd4 794 vl 27798, 35%
03/2009 - cd4 844 vl 68846, 35%
06/2009 - cd4 476 vl 49151, 33% (pregnancy confirmed)
08/2009 - cd4 464 vl 54662, 32%
Started meds for pregnancy (Kaletra, AZT, Viread)
09/2009 - cd4 841 vl 3213, 42%
10/2009 - cd4 860 vl 1088, 41%
11/2009 - cd4 771 vl 563, 38%
12/2009 - cd4 885 vl 151 42%
Discontinued meds after baby born
02/2010 - cd4 841 vl 63781, 38%
05/2010 - cd4 1080 vl 113000, 39%
08/2010 - cd4 770 vl 109242
12/2010 - cd4 642 vl 111000, 34%
06/2011 - cd4 450 vl 222000, 33%
11/2011 - cd4 419 vl 212000, 24%
03/2012 - cd4 280 vl 118000, 26% (repeated Cd4 at 360)
05/2012 -cd4 360 vl 99,190
10/2012 Atripla, cd4 690, vl 80
12/2012 Darunavir, norvir, truvada, Cd4 680, vl u/d
07/2013 cd4 750,ud

Offline hellrider

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Re: Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2010, 04:03:29 PM »
I went to the VA yesterday expected to be put on meds but they decided I was too healthy for me to go on meds. I think I would be a good candidate since I am not being put on meds.
Life's a hell of a ride and I still have some ridin to do.

12/8/2010 CD4 693   VL 192,000

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2010, 05:09:33 PM »
I went to the VA yesterday expected to be put on meds but they decided I was too healthy for me to go on meds. I think I would be a good candidate since I am not being put on meds.

Yes please keep us posted if you do the study. It's definitely a promising study that in my opinion has little downside, based on all I've read about it.

Sounds interesting, presume not open to those in UK

Probably not but it wouldn't hurt to email them. After the success of Timothy Ray Brown there may be more of these studies popping up and they may be able to steer you in the right direction.

Offline hellrider

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Re: Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2010, 12:50:20 AM »
He at least answered my email, if only to ask where I live.
Life's a hell of a ride and I still have some ridin to do.

12/8/2010 CD4 693   VL 192,000

Offline TabooPrincess

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Re: Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2010, 03:37:39 AM »
He replied to my email too but said I had to be in 'The Bay Area'....guess thats not UK then!
09/ 2008 - Seroconversion
11/2008 - Tested pos, cd4 640 vl 25400
12/2008 - cd4 794 vl 27798, 35%
03/2009 - cd4 844 vl 68846, 35%
06/2009 - cd4 476 vl 49151, 33% (pregnancy confirmed)
08/2009 - cd4 464 vl 54662, 32%
Started meds for pregnancy (Kaletra, AZT, Viread)
09/2009 - cd4 841 vl 3213, 42%
10/2009 - cd4 860 vl 1088, 41%
11/2009 - cd4 771 vl 563, 38%
12/2009 - cd4 885 vl 151 42%
Discontinued meds after baby born
02/2010 - cd4 841 vl 63781, 38%
05/2010 - cd4 1080 vl 113000, 39%
08/2010 - cd4 770 vl 109242
12/2010 - cd4 642 vl 111000, 34%
06/2011 - cd4 450 vl 222000, 33%
11/2011 - cd4 419 vl 212000, 24%
03/2012 - cd4 280 vl 118000, 26% (repeated Cd4 at 360)
05/2012 -cd4 360 vl 99,190
10/2012 Atripla, cd4 690, vl 80
12/2012 Darunavir, norvir, truvada, Cd4 680, vl u/d
07/2013 cd4 750,ud

Offline Ann

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Re: Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2010, 03:47:44 AM »
He replied to my email too but said I had to be in 'The Bay Area'....guess thats not UK then!

You should write back to him and ask him if he means Tiger Bay, Liverpool Bay, Whitley Bay or perhaps even Peel Bay. He seems to forget there's more than one "Bay Area" in the world.  ;D
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Offline hellrider

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Re: Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2010, 12:29:52 PM »
The Doc is interested in me, I don't know what my cost would be. He asked if I am available jan. 3-7 I have to call for more details.
Life's a hell of a ride and I still have some ridin to do.

12/8/2010 CD4 693   VL 192,000

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2010, 03:58:52 PM »
The Doc is interested in me, I don't know what my cost would be. He asked if I am available jan. 3-7 I have to call for more details.

If it's a study then it should be free.

Are you in or near the San Francisco Bay area?

Offline hellrider

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Re: Study Into HIV "Cure" Seeks Volunteers
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2010, 12:00:54 PM »
I can't do it San Fran is a long way from Ohio and I can't pay for the trip and lodging plus you have to go to the clinic once a month for a year.
Life's a hell of a ride and I still have some ridin to do.

12/8/2010 CD4 693   VL 192,000

 


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