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Using Cancer Drugs to Treat HIV

Oct 1, 2010

I have heard that there is a <a href="/content/news/art58192.html" target="_blank">study out of the University of Minnesota has used two Cancer Drugs</a>, decitabine and gemcitabine to effectively Force the Virus to Mutate itself to death. The article said. Ha there been any more information on this? Are there studies in the works to see how this information can be used to treat or God Willing Cure HIV?

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thank you for sharing this info.

The study utilizes 2 drugs that are used for other conditions (one for a precancerous blood disorder and the other for lung cancer) and combines them together. They take advantage of a feature of HIV that has been one of its strongest weapons (its' ability to mutate to escape treatment) and turns it against the virus. The meds seem to make the virus hypermutate so that it cannot survive.

The initial reports are intriguing and may bear fruit, but there needs to be alot more work. Firstly the meds are only available intravenously and would need to be made in pill form to be able to be practical. Then studies would need to be done to determine the safety and side effects (after all the meds affect how DNA and RNA are copied) and how durable the effects would be.

So it may take a few years for this to play out, but it does show that researchers are thinking of new ways to attack the virus.

Thanks, Joe

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