Interrupting anti-HIV treatment for an extended period and then re-initiating therapy might be safe in some patients, according to a study by Northwestern University infectious disease experts.
Chad Achenbach, M.D., and co-investigators from The Feinberg School of Medicine presented data from their research today at the XIV International AIDS Conference.
In an observational study, 25 HIV-infected patients with viral suppression for at least six months while receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) interrupted treatment for an average of nine months.
None of the patients had HIV-related infections or illnesses during the interruption. All of the patients had increases in virus levels and drops in infection-fighting CD4 cells. Patients with lower virus levels prior to treatment and stronger immune systems responded more favorably during the interruption.
When HAART was resumed in 11 of the patients, they experienced maximal viral suppression and robust increases in CD4 cell counts.
Previous studies have examined whether treatment interruption could be used as a strategy for boosting immune response to HIV or reducing resistance to the medications. The current study focused on the effects of stopping HAART for longer periods to minimize complications of the therapy.
"We were surprised that so many patients were able to remain off their therapy for so long a period," Achenbach said.
"Extended treatment interruption appears safe and, after further study, may be an important HIV treatment strategy for the reduction of long-term toxicity, medication burden and expense," he said.
Auchenbach cautioned that not all patients should stop therapy, and that if patients do interrupt therapy, they should consult their physician.
Achenbachs co-researchers were Michele Till, M.D., assistant professor of medicine; Sophia Terp; Maria Deloria Knoll, M.D., research assistant professor of preventive medicine; Laura Colangelo; Kiang Liu, professor of preventive medicine; Frank Palella, M.D., assistant professor of medicine; Aleks Kalnins; and Robert L. Murphy, M.D., professor of medicine and director of HIV/AIDS clinical research at Northwestern University.
Elizabeth Crown | EurekAlert
NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...
The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...
At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.
When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
20.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.03.2018 | Information Technology