An international research team has demonstrated that treating HIV-AIDS with interleukin-2 (IL-2) is ineffective. As a result, the researchers recommend that clinical trials on this compound be stopped. Their finding was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in an article co-authored by 14 researchers, including Dr. Jean-Pierre Routy of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC).
IL-2 is currently used as a complement to highly active antiretroviral therapy (known as HAART), which is administered to patients with HIV-AIDS. Since HAART controls replication of viruses in the blood, doctors thought that IL-2 would help regenerate more CD4+ immune cells, which serve as an indicator of viral progression. It was thought that IL-2 increased the natural immunity of patients by helping immune cells mature and multiply.
“Our results show that IL-2 has no effect on the development of AIDS or on patient survival,” says Dr. Routy. “More precisely, while the presence of IL-2 leads to a faster increase of CD4+ immune cells, these cells are less functional than the CD4+ cells that regenerate naturally in patients who do not receive IL-2. This means that IL-2 treatment provides no benefit and does not prevent AIDS-related infectious diseases.”
“For the first time, a study has shed light on recurring questions concerning the value of biological markers and their limitations in assessing patient health,” explains Dr. Routy. “Our challenge now will be to develop tests that assess the function of immune cells and not simply their quantity. This will ensure that HIV treatments indeed have a clinical benefit for patients.”
This 8-year study involved over 5000 patients in 25 countries, and was one of the largest ever conducted on HIV-AIDS. “The fact that data from developing countries was used in biomedical research on innovative compounds is very revolutionary in the history of HIV-AIDS research,” explains Dr. Routy.
Dr. Jean-Pierre Routy is a physician in the Division of Hematology and Immunodeficiency at the MUHC as well as a researcher in the Infection and Immunity Axis at the Research Institute of the MUHC. He is also an Associate Professor of Hematology at McGill University and a senior clinical researcher with the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ).
The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC) is a world-renowned biomedical and health-care hospital research centre. Located in Montreal, Quebec, the institute is the research arm of the MUHC, the university health center affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. The institute supports over 600 researchers, nearly 1200 graduate and post-doctoral students and operates more than 300 laboratories devoted to a broad spectrum of fundamental and clinical research. The Research Institute operates at the forefront of knowledge, innovation and technology and is inextricably linked to the clinical programs of the MUHC, ensuring that patients benefit directly from the latest research-based knowledge.
The Research Institute of the MUHC is supported in part by the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec. For further details visit: www.muhc.ca/research
You will find this press release, with the original article and a short audio interview by following this link:http://www.muhc.ca/media/news/
For more information please contact:Julie Robert
How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine
Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences
22.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
22.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering