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Injected helper t cells to rebuild immune system?
May 3, 2003

Sir Bobby,

Real quick. What about injected helper t cells in combination with hiv medicines to prevent aids from happening? Or what about inject helper t cells as a shot during treatment iterruptions? What do you stay?

Please stay well till your 125? Okay! I demand it! Love Ben

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Ben,

Immune-based therapies have been strong areas of research for quite some time. I did experiments like the ones you proposed in the early nineties. I stimulated T-cells with Interleukin-2 (a T-cell growth factor), grew and expanded T-cell populations (both CD4 and CD8) outside the body, and re-infused them into HIV-positive folks. The results were mixed. These types of therapies are incredibly complex, very expensive, and certainly not without risk. We learned a lot about T-cells and Interleukin with these experiments, but dont look for it to become a treatment modality anytime soon! Remember some basic problems T-cell subpopulations can be infected with HIV. You certainly wouldnt want to grow large numbers of an infected T-cell population harboring latent virus, and then re-infuse them into someone. Lymphopheresis (collecting T-cells to grow) is also not an easy process. Other immunologists and I will keep working on immune-based therapies and hope to have more promising news for you someday soon, or at least before my 125th birthday.

Stay well, Ben. I love you, too!

Dr. Bob



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