Can The Gene Therapy Really Cure HIV?
Gene Therapy has brought a new breakthrough in the race of finding a sustainable and effective HIV cure. According to recent reports the gene therapy was used successfully by a group of researchers to boost the immune system of 12 patients suffering with HIV infection so that the immune system is able to fight back to the infection effectively and the body becomes feasible to cure this disease.
In order to apply this therapy, patient’s WBC or White Blood Cells are removed first so that a specific gene in them can be edited and then after all the editing process is complete they are infused back in. The results of this therapy were tremendously great in the 12 patients on which it was tested. The patients who showed reduced viral loads were able to live their life further without the use of any HIV drugs. Moreover, one of the patient on which this therapy was tested showed so great results that when he was diagnosed for HIV again after this therapy, the doctors weren’t able to find a single sign of the infection.
How Does The Gene Therapy Work?
As per studies, the basic method of this therapy is to edit the T-Cells which are also known as White Blood Cells in the person’s immune system who is suffering with HIV infection. Specifically, the idea is to take out the T-Cells from an infected body and then remove a specific gene which is known as CCR5. This particular gene controls a protein that allows the Human Immunodeficiency Virus to enter a cell.
Once this specific gene is removed then the altered cell is infused back inside the patient’s body. With the help of this the HIV virus isn’t able to enter any new cell. The patient’s only need to take the HIV drugs temporarily after applying the therapy so that the immune system can heal itself and get strong enough to fight the virus and eradicate the infection from a person’s body.
Effects and Scope of The Gene Therapy
The Gene Therapy is considered to be safe in the short term so far and with the results achieved this therapy seems to work effectively however this therapy is still very new and much research is required regarding this therapy. The patient’s did achieved fantastic results who were treated with the help of this therapy but some side effects such as high fever, joint pains and chills were faced alongside for a few days.
The ultimate aim for this therapy is to achieve a sustainable and feasible cure for HIV. Research is going on this therapy constantly in order to identify all aspects of it in order to make this therapy effective and efficient to its height as well as to identify the various risks and side effects associated with it. For now, it is expected that with the help of this therapy HIV infection will be curable in the near future.