An unexpected journey: How cancer immunotherapy has paved the way for an HIV-1 cure

Kellie Smith, Franck Housseau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Over 30 million people worldwide are currently infected with human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1). While HIV-1 infection was initially thought to be a death sentence, the advent of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in the mid-1990's resulted in decreases in viremia and an extended lifespan for infected persons. Despite this, long-term control of the virus in the absence of drug therapy has yet to be achieved, owing to the rebound in viral load and resumption of disease progression that follows removal of the patient from cART. Currently, the most promising candidates for an HIV-1 cure are immunotherapies that harness the patient's own immune system and induce cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-mediated clearance of infected cells. Most of these approaches were developed and optimized in the cancer setting and have had varying degrees of success, the findings from which have wide applications to various disease models. In this review, we evaluate the past successes and failures of cancer immunotherapy and how the findings have shaped our journey toward an HIV-1 cure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-238
Number of pages10
JournalDiscovery medicine
Volume19
Issue number104
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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