Jul 29, 2016

Promising Cancer-Fighting Gene Immunotherapy Could Be Used Against HIV, UCLA Research Suggests

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical


New UCLA research suggests that a gene-based immunotherapy that has shown promising results against cancer could also be used against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

In a study to be published in an August issue of the bi-monthly peer-reviewed Journal of Virology, researchers with the UCLA AIDS Institute and Center for AIDS Research found that recently discovered potent antibodies can be used to generate chimeric antigen receptors, or CARs, that can be used to kill cells infected with HIV-1.

CARs are artificially created immune T-cells that have been engineered to produce receptors on their surface that are designed to target and kill specific cells containing viruses or tumor proteins. The use of these chimeric receptors is currently the focus of gene immunotherapy against cancer, but they could also be used to create a strong immune response against HIV, said Dr. Otto Yang, professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the study’s corresponding author.

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