New data from Thailand RV144 HIV vaccine trial spurs hope

Schematic render of the Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

An analysis of the modestly successful Phase III RV144 clinical HIV vaccine trial in Thailand between 2003 and 2006 involving more than 16,000 people has produced new information that may assist in the development of a broadly protective HIV vaccine. The RV144 HIV vaccine trial led by Supachai Rerks-Ngarm, MD., of the Thai Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Disease Control and supported by the U.S. Army in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), tested the safety and effectiveness of a prime-boost regimen of two vaccines, a modified canarypox vaccine, ALVAC-HIV (the primer dose), and a glycoprotein 120 vaccine, AIDSVAX B/E (the booster dose), on volunteers aged between 18 and 30 years of age in … Continue reading

HPTN 052 trial finding antiretroviral drugs cut HIV transmission by 96% the most important science breakthrough of 2011

HPTN 052 trial that finds antiretroviral drugs cut HIV transmission by 96% lauded as Science Breakthrough of 2011

A clinical trial by the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine at Chapel Hill that found HIV infected people who took anti- retroviral drugs (ARVs) are 96 percent less likely to transmit the HIV virus to their partner(s) has been proclaimed as the most important scientific breakthrough in 2011 by the prestigious journal Science. Led by distinguished Professor Myron S. Cohen, the HPTN 052 trial, funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others, puts an end to long-standing speculation as to whether ARVs provide a double benefit – treating the HIV virus in infected people while simultaneously cutting transmission rates. The HPTN 052 trial began in 2007 with 1,763 predominantly heterosexual couples from Botswana, Brazil, … Continue reading

New drug extends life of men with advanced prostate cancer

There’s good news for men’s health today with trials in the UK of a new prostate cancer drug, radium-223 chloride – also known as Alpharadin TM – being halted because the results were so successful. Doctors at at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London found that the experimental treatment relieved pain while causing only minor side effects, leading them to decide it would be unethical not offer the drug to all 922 prostate cancer volunteers taking part in the study. The UK trials, part of a wider Phase III trial of Alpharadin TM conducted in more than 150 hospitals in 19 countries, saw a 30 per cent lower death rate in those receiving the experimental drug record than those receiving … Continue reading