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Anticancer drug shown to speed HIV replication

Anticancer drug shown to speed HIV replication

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health are warning doctors to avoid giving the anticancer drug actinomycin D (ActD) to their HIV-positive patients because new research shows the drug speeds up HIV replication in the body, AIDSWeekly reports. ActD had been reported to be a potential inhibitor of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication due to its ability to inhibit reverse transcription, said researcher Tomozumi Imamichi. However, research shows ActD actually enhances HIV replication in MT-2 T-lymphoma cells, boosting viral replication 10-fold or more. MT-2 cells treated with ActD also showed strong resistance to the anti-HIV drugs AZT and d4T. "These results suggest that administration of combination drugs to HIV-1-infected patients may induce resistance to antiretroviral compounds via a modification of cellular factors," Imamichi concluded.

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