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new drug ?
Jun 16, 2007

Hi. I read that a Canadian Scientist have found a focal point on PD1. Perhaps it acts as an on/ off switch for HIV to replicate and the CD8 cells work better to get rid of infected cells. Have you heard of this in trials for HIV or making headway?

Response from Dr. Conway

PD1 is a molecule on the surface od CD8 cells, those cells in the immune system that are important in fighting off HIV. Three groups (Dr. Koup and Dr. Walker in the US and Dr. Sekaly in Canada) reported that the presence of PD1 on CD8 cells may slow down their efficacy in fighting the virus. It may be that by manipulating the expression of PD1 on cells that we may be able to enhance their ability to combat the virus. It is unclear how this could be done, however. This will have to be figured out before clinical trials could begin, so such trials are not planned in the immediate future. All of this being said, this is a new and exciting idea and the whole concept of boosting the immune system to help fight the virus will probably be important to its long-term control in infected individuals.



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