Two studies released Wednesday suggest
an antibodies treatment may one day be able to control a patient's
Researchers from Harvard and the Beth
Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston used lab-made versions of
antibodies to fight an HIV cousin (SHIV) in rhesus monkeys.
Thirteen of the study's eighteen
animals showed undetectable viral loads within a week of the
treatment, but the virus returned within three months. The virus
remained undetectable for up to eight months after treatment in three
monkeys with the lowest levels of SHIV before treatment. In two
monkeys with the highest levels of SHIV, the virus was reduced but
not to an undetectable point.
Similar results were found in a smaller
study conducted by Dr. Steven Deeks of the University of California,
San Francisco and Dr. Louis Picker of the Oregon Health & Science
University in Beaverton.
Both studies were published in the
Researchers said they were encouraged
by the results. Dr. Deeks, however, told The
New York Times that the studies “raised more questions than
they answered. But that's how science advances.”