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Decitabine & Gemcitabine
Aug 16, 2012

I was wondering whatever happened to the study of using the FDA-approved cancer drugs decitabine and gemcitabine to cure HIV. It seemed very promising, and then...nothing for 2 years. Not a scrap of new information is to be found. If it was so promising, why has it been abandoned? If results had been proven in laboratory tests, why is there no one taking up the gauntlet for this potential cure? I find it shocking and yes, even negligent that no one is bothering to look into this groundbreaking discovery. If anyone has news, please let us know!

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

I'd hardly call the state of things negligent- it simply takes time for careful science to fully evaluate early lead ideas and prove that strategies are both effective and safe. Before getting into such accusations, I'd encourage you (and or readers) to look for peer-reviewed publications- the best source for this is the National Library of Medicine (PubMed).

Using this search tool, I quickly came up with the latest on the two medications and their use in HIV. This study was published in April 2012 in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy by investigators in Minnesota. The encouraging report discusses the activity of the medications in a mouse model of HIV.

Now as to the statements about cure (as was stated in the University of Minnesota press), I'd opine that the proclamation about cures based on pre-clinical studies are very premature, if not irresponsible.


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