Chemotherapy helps HIV patients respond to Sangamo gene treatment

A nurse carries a child in the San Jose Hospice in SacatepequezTreating HIV patients first with a chemotherapy drug improved their response to an experimental gene-modifying technique for fighting the virus, according to Sangamo BioSciences. Late on Wednesday, data from an earlier trial showed that Sangamo's strategy of genetically modifying cells from people infected with HIV could become a way to control the virus that causes AIDS without using antiviral drugs. The technique is designed to disrupt a gene, CCR5, used by human immunodeficiency virus to infect T-cells, the white blood cells that fight viral infections. The results presented on Thursday show that increasing doses of the chemotherapy drug Cytoxan, or cyclophosphamide, before infusion with SB-728-T led to an improvement in both growth of the genetically modified cells and an increase in total CD4 immune system cells, which otherwise would be a target for HIV, according to Sangamo.



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