Archive | March 2013

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HIV: “Functional vs. Immunological” Cure

A seminal article in the HIV field was published recently in PLoS Pathogens: March 2013:vol 9, issue 3, e1003211, doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003211. Investigators working with the hypothesis that the earlier an HIV infection is treated the better, reported that 14 individuals who received antiretroviral therapy within 1.1-2.1 months after infection, and continued for a median of 3 […]

Our Not-for-Profit Hospitals’ Profits

The March 4, 2013 issue of Time magazine has a superb and shocking article focused on the reasons for the accelerating health care costs in our country:   http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2136864,00.html   The article points out that health care costs now comprise 20% of our Gross Domestic Product. To account for this huge expenditure, writer Steven Brill […]

IL-2 for GvHD: How can IL-2 both promote and suppress immune responses??

Recently, a friend of mine alerted me to an article that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine entitled “Interleukin-2 and regulatory T cells in graft-versus-host disease” (vol. 365:2055, 2012). This report details the experience of the use of daily subcutaneous low dose IL-2 (0.3-3 x 106 IU/m2),compared with high dose IL-2 therapy used […]

A Leukemia Breakthrough? Really? Are “engineered” TCRs the hope?

The New York Times recently reported on a “Breakthrough in the leukemia battle”. A scientific team led by Carl June at the University of Pennsylvania has been trying to “engineer” T lymphocytes (T cells), one of the two major classes of lymphocytes, that normally function to recognize and respond to invasion by foreign microbes, so […]

An “Immunological Cure” of HIV Infection?

The New York Times announced recently that an infant born to an HIV+ mother treated with antivirals within 30 hours after birth is “cured” of HIV infection. The baby was found to be HIV+ just after birth and was treated with a 3-drug combination for 18 months, after which the mother discontinued the drugs. When […]