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UCLA

Stem cell gene therapy developed at UCLA holds promise for eliminating HIV infection

Method modifies immune cells to attack the virus, could be used to treat other diseases

Mirabai Vogt-James | June 30, 2015

Scientists at the  UCLA Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research are one step closer to engineering a tool that could one day arm the body's immune system to fight HIV — and win. The new technique harnesses the regenerative capacity of stem cells to generate an immune response to the virus.

The findings were published today in the journal Molecular Therapy.

In a study published online in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE, the researchers suggest that HIV itself accelerates these aging related changes by more than 14 years.

“We hope this approach could one day allow HIV-positive individuals to reduce or even stop their current HIV drug regimen and clear the virus from the body altogether,” said Scott Kitchen, the study's lead author and a member of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center. “We also think this approach could possibly be extended to other diseases.” Kitchen also is a member of the UCLA AIDS Institute and an associate professor of medicine in the division of hematology and oncology at the  David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Read full article: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/stem-cell-gene-therapy-developed-at-ucla-holds-promise-for-eliminating-hiv-infection

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