Research shows treating HIV-AIDS with interleukin-2 is ineffective

Oct 15, 2009

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 (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 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 and not simply their quantity. This will ensure that 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.

Source: McGill University Health Centre (news : web)

Explore further: Small changes in eGFR with TDF preexposure prophylaxis

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Personalized immunotherapy to fight HIV/AIDS

Aug 15, 2008

For a long time, the main obstacle to creating an AIDS vaccine has been the high genetic variability of the HIV virus. Dr. Jean-Pierre Routy and his team from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre ...

Genetic cause of innate resistance to HIV/AIDS

Jul 16, 2008

Some people may be naturally resistant to infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The results of a study conducted by Dr. Nicole Bernard of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) bring ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.