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killer cells/treatment
Jun 22, 2003

Dr. Holdniy,

Lab reports show that I have very low percent and number of natural killer cells, a normal number of CD4 cells and a low CD4/CD8 ratio. My vl is undetectable.

Why are natural killer cells not checked more often or spoken of more frequently in context of HIV treatment?

If there are VERY low killer cells, but normal CD4's and no detectable viral load, would you ever start treatment? Or is there specific treatment to boost killer cells? Thank you.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Natural Killer (NK) cells are the subject of lots of research, but have not been the predictive marker of disease progression and treatment response as CD4 cells have. Thus, although they are an important arm of the immune system's reponse to HIV infection (based on test tube research), to follow the numbers over time has not been proven to be useful in clinical practice at this time.



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