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Medicine

Cancer Cured By HIV 521

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept.
bluefoxlucid writes "Apparently cancer has been cured, by injecting people with HIV. From the article: 'As the white cells killed the cancer cells, the patients experienced the fevers and aches and pains that one would expect when the body is fighting off an infection, but beyond that the side effects have been minimal.' Nifty. Poorly edited run-on sentence, but nifty."
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Cancer Cured By HIV

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday August 11, 2011 @11:17AM (#37056930) Journal
    Two fairly important adjectives that were for some reason omitted from the summary are listed in the article:

    In the Penn experiment, the researchers removed certain types of white blood cells that the body uses to fight disease from the patients. Using a modified, harmless version of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, they inserted a series of genes into the white blood cells. These were designed to make to cells target and kill the cancer cells. After growing a large batch of the genetically engineered white blood cells, the doctors injected them back into the patients.

    Emphasis mine. The summary almost makes it sound like the researchers just used HIV as we know it ... it's almost humorous to think that a doctor might say "The treatment was a success, you no longer have cancer ... but ..." "BUT WHAT?" "Well, we sorta had to inject you with the HIV in order to take care of it." Obviously this is not the case.

    • by rockclimber (660746) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @11:19AM (#37056962)
      most people with pancreatic cancer would gladly make that trade!
      • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @12:04PM (#37057726) Homepage

        most people with pancreatic cancer would gladly make that trade!

        Well, there's some cancers associated with HIV/AIDS which themselves are pretty nasty.

        As I recall, HIV was identified because there was a cluster of people with Kaposi's Sarcoma, which was supposed to have a much lower incidence than what they were finding.

        If you've been going through cancer treatment, and already have a diminished immune system from the treatment, I'm not sure that's really a trade you'd want to be eager to make.

        I'm always glad to hear about potential advances in medicine, but I wouldn't rush right out to try to use this as a cure just yet. They're likely a ways off from that.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 11, 2011 @11:22AM (#37057016)

      Using a modified, harmless version of HIV

      Yeah, that's probably something that should be repeated pretty heavily. Given what I've seen in some alternative therapy books over the years, people don't need to be *more* confused by HIV.

      • by Dunbal (464142) *
        Not to mention that this treatment also only applies to one very specific form of cancer, not cancer in general.
        • by myurr (468709)

          Not really. It's only been trialled on a single type of cancer, but the way it works is effectively teaching the bodies own white blood cells how to target and kill the cancer cells. I am not an expert in this field by any means, but that technique should translate to most if not all types of cancer.

          • Not really. It's only been trialled on a single type of cancer, but the way it works is effectively teaching the bodies own white blood cells how to target and kill the cancer cells.

            I would hardly call it a trial. It was used on only three patients. Two of which it appears to have been an almost unbelievable success and the third had a 70% reduction in cancer cells.

    • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @11:24AM (#37057044) Homepage
      Even if it were the case where HIV was the cure of cancer it seems like given our current ability to keep people alive with HIV that might be the better option. Now this sounds even better as you don't end up with what is a disease that is treatable but still not curable.

      Now if I only hadn't already used my remaining mod points.
    • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @11:25AM (#37057064)
      Even if it did use real HIV, in many cases the life-span for HIV is around 24 years after infection in the US. This is compared to what, 6 months-5 years for some of the worst forms of cancer? I think in many cases, people would very willingly make that trade. IN many cases it would allow people to live to almost a full average lifespan anyway.
      • by Zaatxe (939368) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @11:41AM (#37057318)
        Your point is compelling, but some people might think that lifeSpan != life.
      • Even if it did use real HIV, in many cases the life-span for HIV is around 24 years after infection in the US. This is compared to what, 6 months-5 years for some of the worst forms of cancer? I think in many cases, people would very willingly make that trade. IN many cases it would allow people to live to almost a full average lifespan anyway.

        Yes, but try to explain that one to a spouse or girlfriend.

      • by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @12:10PM (#37057844) Homepage Journal

        "Even if it did use real HIV" They don't and if they would never try that because it wouldn't pass the medical ethics board for human testing if for no other reason than the risk of retransmission to a healthy person.
        All the rest of this discussion of if HIV or cancer is useless since it has no valid application to this discussion.

      • by bamberg (9311)
        You cure the cancer with HIV, cure the HIV with Ebola and then cure the Ebola with decapitation. It's easy!
    • Your work here is truly dung.... good job pointing that out.

    • by characterZer0 (138196) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @11:28AM (#37057116)

      Furthermore, they did not inject the HIV, they injected previously removed white blood cells modified by HIV.

    • by dpilot (134227)

      "harmless" makes me think of the update about Earth that Ford Prefect made to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - "mostly harmless".

      * How absolutely perfect is the process which makes the HIV harmless? This sounds like it could turn into a "yield vs escape" issue during manufacture, where one escape becomes a case of AIDS.
      * How long do the modified white blood cells hang out in the body?
      * The deadly flu strains generally kill when the body's own immune system overreacts. It sounds like these people may

      • by DrgnDancer (137700) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @11:53AM (#37057552) Homepage

        I am not an expert on this, by any means, but from reading the article and a bit of deduction I *think* the answers are straightforward:

        1) The use of the modified HIV strain is outside of the body. It's used to "train" the white blood cells that have already been removed, so it's not likely to have much, if any, capability to harm the patient.

        2) The new "specialized" white blood cells are just that. Once their "target" is gone, they will likely die off. There's nothing for them to fight.

        3) Even if the treatment has a similar mortality rate to flu, that would be a huge and unimaginable improvement over the mortality rate for most types of aggressive cancer. The mortality rate for flu, especially if the patient is already in the hospital and everyone is prepared for it, is extremely low. The mortality rate for some of the more aggressive cancers is well over 50% even with treatment.

        Honestly, there exist several forms of highly aggressive, highly lethal cancers that people would look at a 20% base mortality rate for the cure and consider it a good deal. Not that this seems to be a problem in this case.

        • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @12:39PM (#37058346) Journal

          If I understand it correctly what they did was engineer a gene-tweaking organic machine by assembling the subsystems from HIV that enter the target immune system cells and reverse-transcribe an RNA payload with an unrelated payload to do what they want. The subsystems don't have to be purified from live virus, risking contamination with functional HIV: Instead they can be separately produced by such techniques as inserting the each of the desired HIV genes into another lifeform, such as E. coli, producing just one "working part".

          If so this is not a "modified HIV strain, nor any lifeform at all. It's some pieces of a virus with a completely unrelated (except for the "insert me" tags) hunk of nucleic acid "data tape". No program from the virus is left at all, just its cellular machinery.

          Given the target and the desired transformation, HIV was the logical virus to reverse-engineer for the moving parts.

        • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @12:43PM (#37058402) Homepage Journal
          I am an expert on this. The HIV was used as a transport mechanism to modify the DNA of the white blood cells. It's identical to using a computer virus to deliver a kernel patch instead of self-replicating code. Retroviral engineering is extremely common in biology. The critical point is that the virus has had all of its self-replicating machinery removed in advance. No HIV genes were transferred into the white blood cells; only a payload designed by the researchers.

          Please, for the love of all that is holy, tell all your friends. Especially if you're friends with Taco. The amount of ignorance on Slashdot about biological concepts that are directly analogous to computer concepts is staggering.
      • the summary is too poorly written for words.

        they didn't inject anyone with HIV.

        It's like a summary saying "patient cured with cyanide" ....because one of the tools used to make the pills used cyanide in it's manufacture if you get the idea.

        they used a modified retrovirus(in this case a modified harmless version of HIV) to genetically engineer a few of the patients own immune cells and then injected those cells back into the patient.

        apparently the patients are still alive after almost a year so whatever the

      • This sounds like it could turn into a "yield vs escape" issue during manufacture, where one escape becomes a case of AIDS.

        HIV != AIDS
        HIV can lead to full blown AIDS, but getting HIV does not mean you will necessarily get AIDS. Just ask Magic Johnson if you need further proof. He has been HIV positive since 1991 but has not contracted AIDS.

        They are not actually injecting HIV virus into the patients either. They modify white blood cells with the harmless HIV strain, and then grow more blood cells from them that get put into the patirent.

    • To get rid of the injected HIV you just do a marrow transplant from one of the people who are immune. So it's only a 50% survival rate, what's the big deal ;-)

      Joking aside, is the modified HIV virus live, replicating and infectious? I don't think unleashing live viruses that have no known cure is a good idea no mater how modified they are.
    • by arkhan_jg (618674) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @11:45AM (#37057398)

      It wasn't even denatured HIV that treated them; they used it as gene therapy to modify white blood cells to make them specifically target the lukemia cancer, and added a gene to make the white blood cells multiply like crazy. It was these 'killer' reprogrammed white blood cells that were injected, and went onto multiply heavily and attack the cancerous cells.

      Gene therapies like this, using white blood cells to attack cancer have been tried before, but they only killed a small amount of cancerous cells before dying off. The new approach here is using modified HIV as the carrier, and also including a replicator gene to make the white blood cells much more effective.

      That said; this is only 3 patients. We don't know how scalable this approach will be to other patients, whether it will be generally effective, and whether it actually kills the cancer or only slows it down. Presumably the same approach could be used to target other cancers, but even if it only hits this common form of leukemia, it's still a massive step forward IFF it's scalable and effective, compared to other treatments such as radiation and chemo.

    • And then the doctor said, "I have some good news and some bad news..."

      and so on.

    • So what you're saying is the now patients have "3 Stooges Syndrome" ala Mr. Burns.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r3M03v95i0 [youtube.com]
    • by Culture20 (968837)
      That's fairly irresponsible reporting. I'll bet a few cancer patients were thinking "sex with an AIDS patient beats another needle", not knowing that the strains differ. Hopefully the mainstream news doesn't make the same mistake.
    • by Sloppy (14984)

      Sorry, but this is not nearly as hilarious as giving AIDS to cancer victims. I would prefer to make up a quotation, maybe something like:

      In the Teller experiment, the researchers injected smallpox virus along with the HIV, resulting in cancer remission an additional 7% of the time. This exceeded the remission rate that had been provided by lobotomizing cancer patients (4.5% increase in remission), keeping them isolated in boxes without any human contact (3% increase in remission), and killing all their dr

    • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @12:49PM (#37058534) Homepage Journal
      Biological viruses are very much like old-school computer viruses in that they have two parts:

      1. inject code (genes) into programs (cells)
      2. get executed by system (cells) and create copy of self that can infect more programs/cells.

      In genetic engineering, using viruses as a transport mechanism is extremely common, because they're often easier to alter than affecting cells directly. They have far simpler internal states. In the case of this experiment, HIV was just used as a carrier for a genetic construct (a bunch of code) designed by the researchers. Absolutely no HIV DNA was transferred, and so there's absolutely no risk of HIV infection: after the viral DNA is inserted into the cell, you just get an empty, lifeless capsule made out of inert protein polymers. Using HIV happened to be desirable because its machinery is very good at infecting.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 11, 2011 @11:23AM (#37057032)

    If what you got from that article is "cancer has been cured by injecting people with HIV", please abstain from posting any more summaries.

    • What do you expect from /. when troll headlines make it through the editors untouched? A much better headline would be "CLL, a type of leukemia, cured by modified HIV virus" but that's not sexy enough. This still doesn't help those unfortunate people with pancreatic adenocarcinoma or grade IV astrocytoma.

      • Actually, if you read the article, it's pretty clear that while this particular experiment was leukemia based the theory should work on nearly any cancer. Basically, they used a modified HIV virus as a carrier to modify the DNA of some of the patients white blood cells (outside of the body). The modified cells are made to specifically target the cancer in question (and replicate, a lot). If trials continue to be successful, there is no reason to think that the "signature" of any cancer couldn't be substi

        • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @12:46PM (#37058468) Homepage

          Actually, if you read the article, it's pretty clear that while this particular experiment was leukemia based the theory should work on nearly any cancer. Basically, they used a modified HIV virus as a carrier to modify the DNA of some of the patients white blood cells (outside of the body). The modified cells are made to specifically target the cancer in question (and replicate, a lot). If trials continue to be successful, there is no reason to think that the "signature" of any cancer couldn't be substituted for the leukemia.

          Incorrect. It may work on a significant fraction of some cancers (especially leukemias, cancers of the blood) but it is unlikely to be a generic cure [nejm.org] of most or all cancers. (TL;DR of the link which is annoying technical - it's a cool new twist on a general class of cancer fighting strategies that up until now have had limited success. It may well prove to be useful, but it is in the very, very early stages of research and there are some reasons why this general class of treatment would be expected not to work on many different cancers.)

          And kudos to MSNBC for actually providing a link to the original literature.

    • But that is what gets people to read it. They are all ready and have have protest signs made up, after reading the summer then they click on the link right before the big protest so they can have a source to give to the media so they don't seem like raving nuts.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Slashdot really does to often drop to the Midnight Star level of integrity these days. Really you don't think a treatment for cancer would get enough clicks without adding a flashy lie to it?

  • This is...so incredible. The application of modified white cells and using HIV as a carrier has use beyond just cancer. It is too bad the drug companies and big cancer foundations didn't back this from the start. Hopefully the money will come pouring in now.

    • This is...so incredible. The application of modified white cells and using HIV as a carrier has use beyond just cancer. It is too bad the drug companies and big cancer foundations didn't back this from the start. Hopefully the money will come pouring in now.

      The use of retroviral vectors [wikipedia.org] for gene therapy (and for basic biological science research, too) has been an active area of extensive research pretty much since we first figured out how these viruses worked. I would be shocked if there were any substantial cancer research institutes anywhere that didn't have at least a couple of projects that used retroviral methods.

      Gene therapy techniques of any kind are conceptually easy but can be technically very finicky. If this is the one project in a thousand th

    • by erroneus (253617)

      This isn't "new news" so much as it is a follow-up on old news. We have actually discussed using a modified virus to "instruct" white cells to kill cancer before. And as the article indicates, the test occurred over a year ago.

  • by DarthBart (640519) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @11:28AM (#37057122)

    FTA: Both the National Cancer Institute and several pharmaceutical companies declined to pay for the research.

    Of course they did. If you cure cancer with one shot, the cash cow of chemo drugs dries up for Big Pharma and the cash cow of donations dries up for the American Cancer Society and other 'non-profit' organization.

    • by characterZer0 (138196) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @11:31AM (#37057178)

      The eradication of polio did not mean the end of the March of Dimes. The NCI would simply need a name change and slight focus adjustment.

      • by Thelasko (1196535)
        Polio has not been eradicated. [wikipedia.org] Smallpox and Rinderpest are the only diseases to be eradicated globally.
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Like hunger the problems of eradicating Polio are largely political. When you have people preventing UNICEF from delivering food to starving kids what makes anyone think they would allow these kids to get vaccinations?

        • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @12:55PM (#37058638) Homepage Journal
          The amount of money that goes into cancer research, and pet projects pork-barrelled as cancer research, greatly overshadows all other medical and biological research budgets. I used to work on a lab that did neurodevelopmental studies in itty-bitty worms called C. elegans. It was, in large part, funded by the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute. The end of cancer research funding would utterly destroy fundamental research in molecular biology and biochemistry.
    • No, because they can charge 5 years worth of chemo fees for that one shot !!

      The insurance companies and cancer patients would gladly take the loans and pay up.

      Think about it .. hundreds of millions of people have cancer .. that means whoever finds a one shot cure will instantly be a trillionaire .. they can take their money and buy and island and retire. Or invest in a one shot cure for AIDS.

    • To be fair, similar techniques have been tried without success in the past. What this team did different was perform a second modification to the patient's white blood cells encouraging them to multiply rapidly once they were put back into the patient's body. No one really knew what that would do, it's entirely possible that it could have killed the patient outright, which is probably why this first study was so small (only three, highly terminal cases).

      The story of the guy who was told he had 3 weeks to

    • by Octorian (14086)

      This is actually something I've often wondered about, more about the ACA than big pharma. We have all these big "societies" that have grown up around major medical conditions. And any sufficiently large organization tends to want to perpetuate. If the thing they stand for is suddenly a solved problem, what motive do they have to continue to exist?

      (That being said, given that cancer is really a whole family of related conditions, I doubt its something that can be "cured" in one fell swoop anyways.)

      But ser

    • by BKX (5066) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @11:49AM (#37057490) Journal

      This argument is bullshit. Pure bullshit. If any "Big Pharma" company invented a cure for cancer tomorrow, you can bet your ass that they'd be all over it in a heartbeat. Why? Because, then that company would forever be known as the company that cured cancer. Every new product they make would be a pot of gold. Every ad they put out would be "Muhdikard, a new treatment for erectile dysfunction, from Drugco. We cured cancer.". Every drug company on the face of the planet would kill for that kind of marketing, not to mention the money from selling the cancer cure.

      Now, of course, "cure for cancer" is a worthless phrase as well, since cancer is a type of disease, and not a single disease, and therefore, it's extremely unlikely that one cure will work for more than one cancer let alone all of them.

      • /\ This.
        Any big pharma company would leap at the chance if it was a good bet. Same thing goes for a cure for baldness.
        This strain of HIV was detoothed, but maybe someone high up in the companies was worried the strain would mutate and become dangerous again (whether scientifically feasible or not). In any case, it's likely that mere mention of "HIV injection" made their lawyers not want to touch this with a 10 foot pole.
      • by rabtech (223758)

        People who work at drug companies die of cancer. Or have relatives, wives, husbands, and children that die of cancer.

        If you think they would honestly ignore a potential cure, you're insane. The money is immaterial... you can just charge $50,000 for the one-time cure shot if you develop it.

        The idea that there is some sort of massive conspiracy to only research lifestyle drugs is just pure idiocy. Indeed the example people love to throw around - Viagra - was designed as a heart medication. The ED effects were

        • by tibit (1762298) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @01:08PM (#37058862)

          Someone going by radagast posted the below in the msnbc.com comment section on TFA. It's very well said, so I'll just cite it to preserve it in case msnbc ever wipes their old comments (that wouldn't be the first time):

          Nowhere in the health care bill does the government "takeover" healthcare. They simply mandate that everyone be covered. The health care you would buy under the plan will still be administered by private, competing companies. Our system will not be a "socialized" version of Canada, nor will there be government employees administering your plan.

          Holy @!$%#, holy @!$%#. It's been two years and still this misinformed tripe continues to bubble up as "knowledge." Why don't some of you who hate progressives do something to better America? The only ones who seem willing to try are the progressives. Slandering what they do only defeats your own self interest.

          Drug companies do not develop cell therapies, they develop small molecule drugs. You might as well blame Ford Motor Co. when the crops fail. Cancer is a collection of thousands of different diseases which present differently in nearly all patients. It is one of the most intellectually and technically challenging problems in human history. Millions of people are working on it. Many cancers are curable right now. Many drugs are effective (despite your widely held belief that there are no cures). Other forms can be managed, while still other forms remain a death sentence.

          If you want cures - THEN ALLOW THE GOVERNMENT TO SPEND MONEY ON BASIC RESEARCH. Cutting government funding cuts basic science, which keeps scientists from advancing in a great many fields - cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, the list is exceptionally long. Putting academic scientists (the average scientist in academia makes ~ $30-40,000) out of work seems to be what some of you want. These men and women who have sacrificed much of their lives and money to solving these problems are starving for funding. There will be only one result. The quality of research will deteriorate. People will be forced to cut corners and make mistakes as they claw for the scraps from Congress.

          Even so, drug companies play their part because they have some of the best private funding and funding derived from their profits. The notion that they won't research cures or that they don't want cures because they will lose money is personally insulting to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who perform some of the most advanced research in these fields. Research that would put your simple minds to shame by its depth and breadth of ingenuity and know-how. When there is a cure it is gotten to market as fast as possible and gotten into the hands of doctors as fast as possible. There are endless examples of this.

          Do you really think that these private sector workers don't have family members who have died? Do you think that they don't read the same headlines? They know the challenge better than any of you and they know the face of the disease better than you. If there really was any validity to the notion that drug companies are standing in the way of cures, then the people who would be complaining the loudest would be those who work in them. They would be complaining very loudly that their work is not getting out because of the company's supposed policies. How many of those people do we hear from?

          NONE.

          You people who traffic in nonsense and politically motivated tripe are the reason our Congress is the way it is. Look at yourselves and the ignorance you spread as fact. Shame. Nothing but rumor mongers, denialists, and idiots. Our Congress is a reflection of the American people and the American people continue to prove they are shamelessly and willfully ignorant, belligerant, and infantile. If you can't handle the internet like adults maybe we should take it away from you.

          Grow the @!$%# up and get a clue. All of you.

      • Now, of course, "cure for cancer" is a worthless phrase as well, since cancer is a type of disease, and not a single disease, and therefore, it's extremely unlikely that one cure will work for more than one cancer let alone all of them.

        This has the capability to be effective, if not for every cancer, at least for a wide swath of them. Just change the signature that the hunter-killer cells are well, hunting, and presto. It's way to early to even call this a "cure" for leukemia, but if the theory proves sound and it doesn't kill more people than it saves in testing, this could be the key to curing just about every cancer. It's like anything else, you have to prototype out the theory before you attempt the general case.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Actually, there is nor reason to think this technique won't kill many, if not all, types of cancer.
        The problem they solved was getting the cells to live for more then a few days to attack cancers. The idea of using this to attack varies cancer cells has been done, but with such a short life span that wasn't very useful.
        And at this point it not only looks like it cures cancer , but will prevent it from coming back.

        All that said, it was 3 patients. 2 of which where cured, and one who was 'mostly cured. These

    • by geekoid (135745)

      One of the worse things b about spending 5 years studying the industry is that when I read a post like yours I get extremely angry.

      You're reasoning is wrong, as is you concept of what 'Big Pharma' does.

  • by kvvbassboy (2010962) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @11:31AM (#37057168)
    And for one of them, it only removed 70% of the cancerous tissues. This is hardly a significant number to confirm the efficacy of the treatment. Also from TFA:

    "Both the National Cancer Institute and several pharmaceutical companies declined to pay for the research. Neither applicants nor funders discuss the reasons an application is turned down. But good guesses are the general shortage of funds and the concept tried in this experiment was too novel and, thus, too risky for consideration."

    Both the guesses as BS, considering the impact that this treatment could result in. I get the feeling that the article is hiding certain aspects of the treatment that may put it in a negative light.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      The funding would have to be allocated before any trials actually took place. In other words, the scientists go to the foundation, say "we have this idea which we think might work but is completely untried, will you give us money", and hope they are interested. So, the funders would have no idea if the treatment has any chance of success prior to funding it. Lots of potentially good research goes untried because no one is willing/able to fund it.

      In short, the fact it wasn't able to get good funding tells u

    • 70% removal of cancerous tissues from a terminal patient with no significant side effects (they mention flu like symptoms but I assure you compared to chemo or radiation that isn't even worth mentioning).

      Similar treatments have been ineffective. The modifications this team made to the treatment had the potential to be high risk to the patient and had never been attempted before. Trying to modify white blood cells to reproduce much more rapidly than is natural, but not so rapidly as to cause harm to the pa

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Probably Zombie-ism.

    • by medv4380 (1604309)
      It's not hiding anything. The negative light that you are looking for is they used a modified version of HIV. Who in their right mind would want to fund anything that is about using HIV in anything other then eradication of it. Just imagine how the proposal would read.

      "We want to take out white blood cells from a patent. Inject this Modified HIV into those cells. Then put them back into the patient and they should kill Cancer cells and not give the patient AIDS"

      That alone shouldn't just get funding r

    • by pz (113803)

      Although there are specific programs for what is called high-risk high-impact research, the bulk of the funding that gets doled out by the NIH (the umbrella organization that includes the National Cancer Institute) is for relatively conservative, somewhat plodding research. In some cases the burden of certainty is so high that the researcher must have essentially already done what they are proposing in a grant application. I'm speaking having successfully competed for both high-risk/high-impact and also t

  • Herpes, the new arch nemesis of Heart Disease?
  • They jacked up the T-Cells to make leukemia go away. They destroyed tumors!

    If there was ever a time to support government-funded science, this is the time. This technology should belong to the people. Not just a subset of the people protected by patent walls.

  • Some vampires were getting sick, and the cure was to infect them with HIV.

    (Of course, I realize that the summary here is crap, but still, life can parallel fiction.)

  • by PHCOSci (1771552) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @12:21PM (#37058000)
    HIV is being used here in a way similar to how lentiviruses are used to routinely introduce synthetic DNA constructs to human cell cultures. In summation it is a version of HIV where the actual viral DNA has been gutted and replaced with the chimeric construct providing these white blood cells with the ability to both rapidly divide and DETECT CANCER inside LIVING PATIENTS. The individuals citing their low patient count as "statistically insignificant" do not have a firm grasp on the field of oncology. The results published in the PRIMARY RESEARCH ARTICLE are astounding. The volume of highly specific cell death observed therein is unprecedented. Chemotherapy, radiation, and all other cancer treatments are non-specific. They kill healthy cells and tumorgenic cells alike. This is the first SUCCESSFUL application of an innate immune system targeting strategy for sustained destruction of cancer cells. It's revolutionary. It was a gutsy, bold move by the researchers. Their executed project combined some of the most advanced approaches in virology, cell biology, and biochemistry. I mean, give credit where credit is due. These guys just hit the nail on the head and you're all blabbering about nonsense.
  • by What'sInAName (115383) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @02:14PM (#37059806) Homepage Journal

    From 2005:

    http://science.slashdot.org/story/05/02/14/1519212/The-Cure-for-Cancer-Might-be-HIV [slashdot.org]

    I thought the subject of this story sounded familiar. Seems like they've made progress! Let's hope it stands up to further studies. Many, many promising treatments turn out to be fools' gold.

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