In the past two weeks we've learned of a major advance in ongoing efforts to halt the spread of HIV, two separate clinical studies have reported that a daily regimen of a pill called Truvada as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is highly effective in preventing infection in high risk groups. This success is a result … Continue reading Truvada prevents HIV infection in high-risk individuals! A clinical success built on animal research
Yesterday a team of University of Pennsylvania researchers – led by Dr Pablo Tebas, Professor Carl June, and Dr Bruce Levine – announced the successful conclusion of a clinical trial to evaluate the safety of a new gene therapy technique for treating HIV. It is a result that may eventually allow millions of HIV positive … Continue reading From clinic to mouse to clinic: New HIV gene therapy shows promise!
A couple of days ago the New York times published a heart warming story about a young girl named Emma Whitehead whose acute lymphoblastic leukemia - which had previously defied all therapies - has gone into full remission following treatment with a novel gene therapy that programmed her immune system to target the cancer cells. … Continue reading Defeating Leukemia: A smile that says “Thank the mice”
December 1st is World AIDS Day, dedicated to raising awareness of the worldwide AIDS pandemic, to support people living with HIV/AIDS and to commemorate those who died. The disease has claimed over 25 million lives. Worldwide, over 33 million people are now living with HIV/AIDS. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first report … Continue reading Remembering a hero of the struggle against HIV/AIDS
There is encouraging news this week on the prospects for an effective vaccine against HIV. A research team led by Professor Mariano Esteban at the Spanish Superior Scientific Research Council (CSIC) have announced that the vaccine MVA-B elicited a persistent immune response against HIV in 85% of volunteers in a phase 1 clinical trial. MVA-B … Continue reading Mice and macaques pave the way for effective HIV vaccines
A once-a-day pill is effective in preventing HIV infection, according to two big new human studies released last week. This could add a preventive pill to the toolkit of HIV prevention, alongside condom use, abstinence, and vaginal microbicides. Of course, these human trials would not have been possible had the drugs not been first shown … Continue reading Good news on HIV prevention – thanks to animal studies
On Monday Dr Malcolm Macleod, head of experimental neuroscience at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, joined scientists from the European Stroke Research Network for Hypothermia (EuroHYP) in urging European governments to fund a trial of moderate hypothermia for the treatment of ischemic stroke victims. In ischemic stroke the blood … Continue reading Animal studies point to clinical trial of hypothermia for stroke victims
Every December Science, the magazine published weekly by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and ranking among among the most prestigious of scientific journals, publishes its list of the “Breakthrough of the Year”, and it affords us one last opportunity to look back on a few of the major developments we have discussed … Continue reading Breakthroughs of the year 2010: Looking Back and Looking Ahead