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Mol Ther. 2007 May;15(5):1024-33. Epub 2007 Mar 13.

Transfer of autologous gene-modified T cells in HIV-infected patients with advanced immunodeficiency and drug-resistant virus.

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Infectious Diseases Unit, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.


Drug toxicity and viral resistance limit the long-term efficacy of antiviral drug treatment for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Thus, alternative therapies need to be explored. We tested the infusion of T lymphocytes transduced with a retroviral vector (M87o) that expresses an HIV entry-inhibitory peptide (maC46). Gene-modified autologous T cells were infused into ten HIV-infected patients with advanced disease and multidrug-resistant virus during anti-retroviral combination therapy. T-cell infusions were tolerated well, with no severe side effects. A significant increase of CD4 counts was observed after infusion. At the end of the 1-year follow-up, the CD4 counts of all patients were still around or above baseline. Gene-modified cells could be detected in peripheral blood, lymph nodes, and bone marrow throughout the 1-year follow-up, and marking levels correlated with the cell dose. No significant changes of viral load were observed during the first 4 months. Four of the seven patients who changed their antiviral drug regimen thereafter responded with a significant decline in plasma viral load. In conclusion, the transfer of gene-modified cells was safe, led to sustained levels of gene marking, and may improve immune competence in HIV-infected patients with advanced disease and multidrug-resistant virus.

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