In this second week of July, we bring you news about the “São Paulo Patient”, a 36-year-old Brazilian who has been in HIV remission for 66 weeks after a clinical study of antiretroviral drugs and nicotinamide. There is also news of further developments in the personalized medicine field with the potential use of immunotherapy for brain cancers and in infectious diseases. New research in Alzheimer’s in the form of a promising new drug target, and a potential link with NAFLD which triggers neuroinflammation. A study on COVID-19 and asthma risk by Rutgers University; and how the gut microbiome can help in identifying type 2 diabetes.
An Intriguing—But Far from Proven—HIV Cure in the “São Paulo Patient”
A 36-year-old man in Brazil has seemingly cleared an HIV infection, making him the human proof of principle of a novel drug strategy that flushes the AIDS virus from its reservoirs in the body. After receiving an especially aggressive combination of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs and nicotinamide (vitamin B3), the man, who asks to be referred to as the “São Paulo Patient” to protect his privacy, went off all HIV treatment in March 2019. The virus hasn’t returned to his blood since.
Immunotherapy Shows Activity Against Brain Metastases Among Certain Patients with NSCLC
Approximately one-quarter of patients with advanced lung cancer develop brain metastases. Radiation, the standard treatment for these patients, sometimes results in significant toxicity. Immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors has shown efficacy in various cancers, including lung cancer. Until a recent study by Yale Cancer Center, the activity of immunotherapy in the brain was not studied extensively.
NIH Investigators Hope CD47 Study Leads to Broad-Spectrum Infectious Diseases Immunotherapy
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) investigators and colleagues have discovered that when the immune system first responds to infectious agents, such as viruses or bacteria, a natural brake on the response prevents overactivation. A new study describes this brake and the way pathogens like SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, turn it on. Their finding provides a potential target for an immunotherapy that could be applied to a wide range of infectious diseases.
New Light Shed on Link Between Alzheimer’s And Liver Disease
New research from the University of South Carolina is uncovering how non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) influences the neurological conditions associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The study describes how a certain protein produced in the liver can travel to the brain and trigger neuroinflammation.
Asthma Not a Risk Factor for Contracting or Increased Severity of COVID-19
The news has continually reported the effects of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations. As a result, those with asthma may become hyper-vigilant about personal hygiene and social distancing. Social distancing could improve asthma control—people who self-quarantine are not as exposed to seasonal triggers that include allergens or respiratory viruses. There is also evidence that people are more attentive to taking their asthma medication during the pandemic, which can contribute to improving overall health.
Gut Microbiome Helps Identify Type 2 Diabetes Risk
A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) examined the importance of daytime-dependent fluctuations of the gut microbiome in relation to type 2 diabetes. Their study is one of the largest studies related to microbiomes and diabetes, encompassing more than 4,000 participants.