New Kinds of Treatment
|By John S. James
AIDS Treatment News
Everyone knows that patients urgently need new kinds of treatments (as well as better drugs in existing classes, mainly antiretrovirals). But it has always been hard to get new ideas developed.
Almost by definition a new idea has not made money before, so the money people are not interested. Developing new drugs and new classes of drugs is expensive, due to the need to protect public health -- and because the system also reflects the need of large companies to monopolize the market and keep out small competitors.
Some of the lesser-known possibilities we intend to look at in 2002 include:
Topoisomerase inhibitors. In 1994 AIDS Treatment News reported on a class of drugs being developed for cancer, but not for HIV, though some experts believed they should be tested as antiretrovirals (see Topotecan, CPT-11 (Irinotecan), Camptothecin, and Other Topoisomerase I Inhibitors, AIDS Treatment News #197, April 15, 1994). Recently treatment activist Eric Goldman followed up and found that patent and policy snafus have apparently prevented these drugs from being tested and developed for HIV.
Eric Goldman is preparing a comprehensive article on his investigation into why topoisomerase inhibitors were not researched for HIV; at this time (January 2002) only two short articles are available. The following are similar but not identical: http://www.thebody.com/sfac/topotecan.html http://www.searchforacure.org/hope/article.asp?sty=16
Murabutide. This immune-based treatment, being developed in France, may strengthen the innate immune response -- which may also create conditions helpful for HIV-specific immunity.
Prostratin. This drug, from a tree in Samoa, may drive latent HIV out of hiding so that it can be targeted by other drugs or by the immune system.
Low-dose naltrexone. This potential treatment has been available for many years (AIDS Treatment News reported on it almost 15 years ago) but has not attracted much attention. We are looking at it now because of favorable anecdotal reports -- and also because there is little downside to using it. For the case in favor, see: http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org
AIDS Treatment News
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useful links: http://www.aidsnews.org/ Editor and Publisher: John S. James
Associate Editor: Tadd T. Tobias Statement of Purpose: AIDS Treatment News reports on experimental and standard treatments, especially those available now. We interview physicians, scientists, other health professionals, and persons with AIDS or HIV; we also collect information from meetings and conferences, medical journals, and computer databases. Long-term survivors have usually tried many different treatments, and found combinations that work for them. AIDS Treatment News does not recommend particular therapies, but seeks to increase the options available. AIDS Treatment News is published 24 times per year, on the first and third Friday of every month, and print copies are sent by first class mail. Email is available (see below). Back issues are available at http://www.aidsnews.org/ To subscribe, you can call 800-TREAT-1-2 or 415-255-0588: