Could CAR-T immunotherapy be used to target latent HIV?

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Researchers from Gladstone Institutes and their partners at Xyphos Biosciences (both CA, USA) have demonstrated that a cell-based therapy, convertibleCAR®, appears to reduce the latent HIV reservoir in individuals on antiretroviral therapy.

The study, published in Cell, assessed CAR-T therapy, which has shown great promise for cancer treatment, in HIV. The latent reservoir is one of the primary challenges to a cure for HIV/AIDS; reducing and controlling the reservoir could allow people living with HIV to discontinue antiretroviral treatments in a sustained remission, or ‘functional cure’.

Conventional CAR-T technology involves engineering cytotoxic T cells to express a stripped-down version of an antibody on their surface, allowing them to target a specific cell type and destroy it. However, for each new cell type a CAR-T cell must be manufactured in a time-consuming process.

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