Genetic modification of hematopoietic stem cells as a therapy for HIV/AIDS.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Viruses, Volume 5, Issue 12, p.2946-62 (2013)

Keywords:

2013, Clinical Research Division, December 2013

Abstract:

The combination of genetic modification and hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation may provide the necessary means to develop an alternative treatment option to conventional antiretroviral therapy. As HSCs give rise to all hematopoietic cell types susceptible to HIV infection, modification of HSCs is an ideal strategy for the development of infection-resistant immune cell populations. Although promising results have been obtained in multiple animal models, additional evidence is needed to convincingly demonstrate the feasibility of this approach as a treatment of HIV-1 infected patients. Here, we review the potential of HSC transplantation and the recently identified limitations of this approach. Using the Berlin Patient as a model for a functional cure, we contrast the confines of autologous versus allogeneic transplantation. Finally, we suggest that although autologous, gene-modified HSC-transplantation may significantly reduce plasma viremia, reaching the lower detection limits currently obtainable through daily HAART will remain a challenging endeavor that will require innovative combinatorial therapies.