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Author Topic: Queensland scientist develops treatment to 'keep HIV in check'  (Read 3714 times)

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Offline geobee

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Here's the link and the short article --

http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/queensland-scientist-develops-treatment-to-keep-hiv-in-check-20130116-2cs1f.html

A Queensland scientist may have developed a potential new treatment for HIV to stop the virus progressing to AIDS. Queensland Institute of Medical Research associate professor David Harrich modified a protein found in HIV that stopped the virus replicating in laboratory tests.

Professor Harrich said the approach, published in the journal Human Gene Therapy, was not a cure for HIV but would ensure the virus remained dormant. ‘‘It would keep the virus in check,’’ he told AAP.

‘‘The virus might infect a cell but it wouldn’t spread. ‘‘With a treatment like this, you would maintain a healthy immune system.’’ Prof Harrich said the modified protein stopped HIV replicating in three different ways. Unlike existing antiretroviral drugs, the approach used gene therapy.

Pre-clinical tests showed the technique was not toxic to human cells and offered protection from HIV spreading with a single treatment, he said. However, any treatment using this method would be years away.  Prof Harrich said the approach needed to go through several steps of animal testing before it could be trialled in humans.


However, the approach using a single treatment could be more economical. Currently, HIV sufferers face a significant financial burden because treatment requires taking antiretroviral drugs for the rest of their lives. Antiretroviral drugs are unable to completely eradicate the virus because it burrows deeply into the DNA of immune cells, especially in the lymph nodes or gut, where it gets stuck and goes to sleep.
Several approaches are under way around the world to cure HIV and a global strategy to find a cure was unveiled in Washington last year. One approach is being pioneered in Victoria by The Alfred hospital’s Infectious Diseases Unit director, Professor Sharon Lewin.
Prof Lewin, who is also co-head of virology at Melbourne’s Burnet Institute, is testing the ability of an existing drug to ‘‘wake up’’ the virus in cells where it hides and lies dormant. The theory is the reawakened virus would kill the cell it inhabits, thereby self-destructing.
Another potential cure under investigation internationally involves boosting the immune system to mimic a group of HIV patients who can control the virus naturally. This group of patients, known as ‘‘elite controllers’’, have low levels of the virus which don’t require drug treatment.



Offline Cosmicdancer

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Re: Queensland scientist develops treatment to 'keep HIV in check'
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2013, 12:53:57 PM »
Here's another article about this and a 7 minute video interview with the lead researcher.  The researcher points out that clinical trials in humans are 5-10 years away :(

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-16/scientists-hail-potential-cure-for-aids/4466766

Scientists from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research say they have made a breakthrough that could lead to a potential cure for AIDS.

Associate Professor David Harrich says they have discovered how to modify a protein in HIV so that, instead of replicating, it protects against the infection.

"I consider that this is fighting fire with fire," he said.

"What we've actually done is taken a normal virus protein that the virus needs to grow, and we've changed this protein, so that instead of assisting the virus, it actually impedes virus replication and does it quite strongly."

Associate Professor Harrich says the modified protein cannot cure HIV but it has protected human cells from AIDS in the laboratory.

"This therapy is potentially a cure for AIDS," he said.

"So it's not a cure for HIV infection, but it potentially could end the disease.

"So this protein present in immune cells would help to maintain a healthy immune system so patients can handle normal infections."

More than 30,000 people have been diagnosed with HIV in Australia.

If clinical trials are successful, one treatment could be effective enough to replace the multiple therapies they currently need.

"Drug therapy targets individual enzymes or proteins and they have one drug, one protein," Associate Professor Harrich said.

"They have to take two or three drugs, so this would be a single agent that essentially has the same effect.

"So in that respect, this is a world-first agent that's able to stop HIV with a single agent at multiple steps of the virus lifecycle."

He says the new treatment has the potential to make big improvements in the quality of life for those carrying HIV.

"I think what people are looking for is basically a means to go on and live happy and productive lives with as little intrusion as possible," he said.

"You either have to eliminate the virus infection or alternatively you have to eliminate the disease process and that's what this could do, potentially for a very long time."

Professor Harrich says animal trials are due to start this year and early indications are positive.

"This particular study is going to have some hurdles to jump through, but so far every test that we have put this protein through has passed with flying colours," he said.

"This particular year we're moving this into animal models, and based on the preliminary data we have done we expect that this will proceed really quickly."

The research is published in the journal Human Gene Therapy.
Summer, 2007 - &$#@?
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Feb, 2008 - 57,000 vl, 520 cd4, started Atripla
June, 2008 - undetectable, 612 cd4
January, 2009 - undetectable, 670 cd4
May, 2009 - undetectable, 593 cd4
Sept, 2009 - 83 vl, 763 cd4, 34%
Dec, 2009 - undetectable, 889 cd4, 32%
April, 2010 - undetectable, 860 cd4, 31%
October, 2010 - undetectable, 800 cd4, 38%
April, 2011 - undetectable, t-cell test not done
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October, 2013 - undetectable
May, 2014 - undetectable, 784 cd4, 48%

Offline buginme2

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Re: Queensland scientist develops treatment to 'keep HIV in check'
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 01:25:13 PM »
"This therapy is potentially a cure for AIDS"

"So its not a cure for HIV....."

WUT
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 05:03:04 PM by buginme2 »

Offline J220

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Re: Queensland scientist develops treatment to 'keep HIV in check'
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2013, 12:34:31 AM »
"This therapy is potentially a cure for AIDS"

"So its not a cure for HIV....."

WUT

Pretty clear they meant they believe this would prevent the progression to AIDS, although you would remain HIV+.....it's what's referred to as a "functional" cure.

(Not that I'm terribly excited by this, mind you, there's been a ton of crap that has worked in the lab, but not in vivo...I'll get excited when they test it on actual people and it works....)
"Hope is my philosophy
Just needs days in which to be
Love of Life means hope for me
Born on a New Day" - John David

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Queensland scientist develops treatment to 'keep HIV in check'
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2013, 04:14:40 AM »
 ::) I have discovered a way that I might become the Sultan of Brunei, though human trials won't start before 5-10 years from now.  :o
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline contagion

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Re: Queensland scientist develops treatment to 'keep HIV in check'
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2013, 07:48:26 PM »
I always look for the defacto disclaimer
Quote
However, any treatment using this method would be years away

Still trying to be optimistic though  ???
I have a t-shirt with my t-cells on it.

Offline Jmarksto

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  • Posts: 469
Re: Queensland scientist develops treatment to 'keep HIV in check'
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2013, 08:24:20 PM »
::) I have discovered a way that I might become the Sultan of Brunei, though human trials won't start before 5-10 years from now.  :o

there's been a ton of crap that has worked in the lab, but not in vivo...I'll get excited when they test it on actual people and it works....

I feel very, very different.  I wholeheartedly welcome these unproven (in terms of treatment viability) research findings...knowing that they very well may not be the cure (or a functional one) themselves. Every one that fails is an opportunity to learn and you never know where the learning will lead to - each failure is a another step closer.

The way science and innovation works is that you need to have multiple "failures" and continue to try different new approaches and true "breakthroughs" are rare.  Yes, the process takes time and there are many, many approaches that dead-end, but that is the process and the more ideas you have at the beginning, the more likely you are to have one of them work.

There is a great TED Talk video about an exercise on collaboration. Teams are given some spaghetti, string, tape, and a marshmallow and they compete to see how high of a tower they can build and kindergartners outperform MBAs.  Why? because the MBAs start with one "plan" and build, the kindergartners practice successive and iterative prototyping (where many of their attempts fail, but they learn from failure).

http://www.ted.com/talks/tom_wujec_build_a_tower.html

I am a proud (albeit realistic) "curista",
JM
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 08:26:15 PM by Jmarksto »
03/15/12 Negative
06/15/12 Positive
07/11/12 CD4 790          VL 4,000
08/06/12 CD4 816/38%   VL 49,300
08/20/12 Started Complera
11/06/12 CD4   819/41% VL 38
02/11/13 CD4   935/41% VL UD
06/06/13 CD4   816/41% VL UD
10/28/13 CD4 1131/45%  VL 25
02/25/14 CD4   792/37%  VL UD
07/09/14 CD4 1004/39%   VL UD

Offline JazJon

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Re: Queensland scientist develops treatment to 'keep HIV in check'
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2013, 04:15:06 AM »
Interesting stuff as always.

Reddit is not very impressed though: (see comments)
http://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/16ua06/australian_scientists_may_have_found_potential/

The Quest Trials happening in San Francisco are only months away. (not years) and might accomplish similar things for a possible functional cure or even cure.

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Queensland scientist develops treatment to 'keep HIV in check'
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2013, 12:15:56 PM »
I was just joking about the usual phrases that the scientists and university pr people put in these research reports.  Thats all.  No cut on the posters here, nor on the researchers, and I am glad things continue to move forward.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Jmarksto

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  • Posts: 469
Re: Queensland scientist develops treatment to 'keep HIV in check'
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2013, 12:21:50 PM »
I was just joking about the usual phrases that the scientists and university pr people put in these research reports.  Thats all.  No cut on the posters here, nor on the researchers, and I am glad things continue to move forward.

Hey Mecch;  Apologies for my misinterpretation...I need to work on my sense of "HIV humor"  - I am admittedly still a little too serious about this stuff.

JM
03/15/12 Negative
06/15/12 Positive
07/11/12 CD4 790          VL 4,000
08/06/12 CD4 816/38%   VL 49,300
08/20/12 Started Complera
11/06/12 CD4   819/41% VL 38
02/11/13 CD4   935/41% VL UD
06/06/13 CD4   816/41% VL UD
10/28/13 CD4 1131/45%  VL 25
02/25/14 CD4   792/37%  VL UD
07/09/14 CD4 1004/39%   VL UD

Offline atlanta05

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  • Posts: 18
Australian study; potential to inhibit HIV replication
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2013, 08:09:52 AM »
Early days, but worth watching, right?

Would you consider volunteering for this study? I probably would (if I were in Australia)

http://mg.co.za/article/2013-01-16-australian-study-point-to-potential-cure-for-aids/

Offline atlanta05

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  • Posts: 18
Re: Queensland scientist develops treatment to 'keep HIV in check'
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2013, 08:17:53 AM »
Who would volunteer for this trial? I probably would (if I were in Australia!)

Offline leatherman

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Re: Australian study; potential to inhibit HIV replication
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2013, 09:12:40 AM »
this is already being discussed in another thread:
Queensland scientist develops treatment to 'keep HIV in check'
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline mikeyb39

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Possible AIDS cure
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2013, 11:04:21 PM »
I was reading this article on the HUFF post.  It was one of the most looked up articles on yahoo, so had to take a look at it.  Promising info, but still long ways down the road for humans I suppose.   Its nice to know someone is still looking into this stuff.  I'm all about a 'functional' cure.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/potential-aids-cure-australia-hiv-protein_n_2543921.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular


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12/09/2010  started Atripla
02/18/2011  cd4-425, vl-800
06/10/2011  cd4-447, vl-70
10/10/2011  cd4-666, vl-80
01/05/2012  swiched med (prezista,norvir ,isentress, )
02/10/2012  cd4-733, vl-UD  Viread removed
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Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: Possible AIDS cure
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2013, 11:18:01 PM »
this is already being discussed in another thread:
Queensland scientist develops treatment to 'keep HIV in check'

and this is like the 2nd or 3rd thread that's been started up about the same news item although your huffpo link is new to the mix LOL Although I must say that the huffpo headline (and your title based on that) and the way they reported it is very very wrong. The huffpo link clearly even says "Harrich himself notes that his research is not an HIV cure".

Quote
If successful, Harrich's one treatment could replace more traditional, multiple drug therapies. Harrich remarked to ABC that these advances could give HIV patients a way "to go on and live happy and productive lives with as little intrusion as possible."
It's not a CURE but another very different kind of drug therapy. ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline mikeyb39

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Re: Possible AIDS cure
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2013, 11:28:10 PM »
I admit I didn't see any other posts on here.  I am a simpleton i have to see it spelled out in clear words for me to see it,  otherwise i pick and choose what i want to read on these forums.  Good news is good news no matter how many times one sees it.  What else do we have but hope.  Wasn't that ssying on a golden girls episode btw.   hmmmmm.
11/02/2010  cd4-251, vl-591000
12/09/2010  started Atripla
02/18/2011  cd4-425, vl-800
06/10/2011  cd4-447, vl-70
10/10/2011  cd4-666, vl-80
01/05/2012  swiched med (prezista,norvir ,isentress, )
02/10/2012  cd4-733, vl-UD  Viread removed
06/10/2012  cd4-614, vl-UD
12/14/2012  cd4-764, vl-UD
09/01/2013  cd4-785, vl-UD
03/06/2014. cd4- 1078, VL-UD

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Possible AIDS cure
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2013, 12:18:31 AM »
I admit I didn't see any other posts on here.  I am a simpleton i have to see it spelled out in clear words for me to see it,  otherwise i pick and choose what i want to read on these forums.  Good news is good news no matter how many times one sees it.  What else do we have but hope.  Wasn't that ssying on a golden girls episode btw.   hmmmmm.

Was that the Bob Hope episode?  Rose is nuts and thinks he is her father. 


Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Queensland scientist develops treatment to 'keep HIV in check'
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2013, 10:07:26 PM »
Hey turns out this 'keep HIV in check' thing was a bunch of rubbish.

http://tagbasicscienceproject.typepad.com/tags_basic_science_vaccin/2013/01/australian-aids-cure-claim-leads-to-a-maelstrom-of-hype-and-misinformation-.html

Thanks for posting that. The article was a little windy but it was interesting to read about the language games in these press releases. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline sensual1973

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Re: Queensland scientist develops treatment to 'keep HIV in check'
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2013, 01:09:38 AM »
boy you really like being the donkey and the carrot.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things i can not change.

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Queensland scientist develops treatment to 'keep HIV in check'
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2013, 04:34:13 AM »
I tend to take any "cure" or vaccine (or whatever latest hiv R&D hits the "news") with a very large grain of salt unless the news article is written by someone like Gus Cairns or Tim Horn.

Articles about developments in the hiv field written by mainstream journos (and in that I include outfits like the AP) are usually so full of mistaken generalisations and other errors that they're rarely ever worth the bandwidth they're written on. While there are usually grains of truth in the articles, they always seem to focus on whatever sensationalist headlines they can pull out of the information and f*ck the reality.

Studies published in peer-review journals are another matter entirely - I'm strictly talking about mainstream news items published in response to the published studies (or news items published in response to sound-bite press-releases that have been misunderstood or taken out of context).

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