Ryan Zurakowski, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware, has developed a treatment method to reduce the risk of future failures in patients who have already experienced failure with their HIV treatment protocol.
Patients are often treated with three-drug regimens that are highly effective at suppressing the virus in the long term, however, some patients become resistant to one or all three components of their regimen.
When this happens, patients must switch to a new regimen.
Zurakowski and his group are developing model-based approaches that minimize the risk of treatment failures for HIV patients who are switching therapies by considering both the contributions of viral load to the probability of failure.
Viral load measures the status of a patient’s infection level.
People with a high HIV viral load have a significantly higher chance of carrying a strain of HIV that will be resistant to subsequent medication regimens. This resistance can severely limit a patient’s treatment options.
“We are developing methods that would allow us to reduce the number of viral load measurements required without significantly decreasing the achieved reduction in risk,” said Zurakowski. “We are also developing ways to use the existing databases of HIV drug resistance mutations in order to choose the best drug combinations.”
Early results indicate that when a treatment fails, steps should be taken to reduce the viral load before switching to a new regimen. Starting treatment at a lower level of infection will significantly lower the chances of developing resistance.
For those who experience multiple failed therapies, Zurakowski also found that constructing a temporary "mix and match" regimen from previously failed combinations may minimize the risk of additional treatment failure.
If successful, Zurakowski’s research could help clinicians design and customize optimal treatment plans for transitioning patients whose antiviral regimen has failed to an alternate set of medications.
“The mathematical tools which are traditionally applied to aerospace, robotics and electrical design problems are equally applicable to problems of medical modeling and treatment planning,” Zurakowski explained.
Zurakowski’s research is documented in a paper entitled "Optimal Antiviral Switching to Minimize Resistance Risk in HIV Therapy." The paper was recently published in PLoS One, a peer-reviewed online science publication of the Public Library of Science. It has also been featured in the AIDS Beacon, an online publication provided by Light Knowledge Resources, an independent Internet publishing company based in Princeton, N.J.
About the researcher
Zurakowski joined UD in 2006. In addition to his faculty role in electrical and computer engineering, he is also affiliated with the Delaware Biotechnology Institute and holds appointments within the Department of Mathematical Sciences and the Biomedical Engineering program. His research centers on nonlinear control theory and applications, specifically in mathematical biology and medicine.
He received his doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2004. Prior to joining UD, he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine.
Andrea Boyle | Newswise Science News
GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University
Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
24.04.2018 | Information Technology
24.04.2018 | Earth Sciences
24.04.2018 | Life Sciences