Montreal Researchers Find Hope For HIV, AIDS Treatment

Armen Hareyan's picture

Canadian and U.S. researchers think they have achieved an important breakthrough in the fight for finding treatment for HIV / AIDS. According to the study led by Dr. Rafick-Pierre Sékaly of the University of Montreal, whose findings were published in the journal Nature Medicine, the combination of triple therapy with chemotherapy could be targeted to entirely eliminate HIV / AIDS. Currently, only viruses that circulate in the body respond to the therapy, while those that are hidden in the cells of the immune system remain untouchable.

Researchers believe they have identified the cells where HIV is hiding and mechanisms that allow the virus to escape the treatment current. The group of the researchers also includes a scientist from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center (MUHC) Jean-Pierre Routy.


"Our results support a strategy similar to that, used against leukemia: chemotherapy treatment combined with targeted immune therapy," said Dr. Sékaly. This would destroy the cells that contain a virus, while giving the immune system time to regenerate itself with healthy cells. "

New route toward HIV and AIDS treatment quest

The study by Dr. Rafick-Pierre Sékaly and his team will provide researchers a new working plan in their search for HIV and AIDS treatment. While researchers believe that the lack of powerful antiretroviral explained their inability to destroy the virus, the existence of "reservoir" of HIV, which takes the form of immune system cells, has upset the assumptions. "We now have brand new options to explore in the coming years to combat HIV," said Nicolas Chomont, one of the co-authors of the study.

Clinical trials of combination therapy and chemotherapy should begin in the Fall. Researchers estimate that it will take several more years before this new treatment can be offered to patients with HIV and AIDS.