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Genetically Engineered Immune Cells Are Showing Promise in Fighting HIV

January 3, 2018

CAR-T therapy, a treatment that reprograms DNA of immune cells so they attack disease, has been shown to suppress or even eradicate HIV in lab monkeys.

How it works: As Stat explains, the engineered immune cells seek out and bind to the virus and are also themselves immune to HIV infection, allowing them to keep working.

But: The technique, published in PLoS One, was only tested in lab dishes and two animals. It’s also unclear how long the benefits may last. Given that CAR-T therapies have historically been very expensive, it would likely need to be an out-and-out cure to prove successful.

Backstory: We’ve explained how CAR-T shows huge promise in treating cancer, and many firms are already investing heavily in the hope that the technique will find broader application. That hope, this news suggests, may prove to be founded.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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