Posts tagged ‘HIV/AIDS’


HIV/AIDS Action Summit: ‘This epidemic is far from over’

October 25, 2013 | by
Photo of Alexandra Levine
City of Hope Chief Medical Officer Alexandra Levine explains how HIV infects the body and becomes AIDS if left untreated. She made her presentation to attendees of the seventh annual San Gabriel Valley HIV/AIDS Action Summit. Thanks to better screening programs and education about safer sex practices, the number of new HIV infections has dropped dramatically from the height of the epidemic — from more than 130,000 new annual cases in the mid-1980s to approximately 50,000 new annual cases today. But that number, combined with the fact that more than 1 million Americans are currently living…

Shape and size matter when it comes to RNA interference

July 8, 2013 | by
Small test tubes with red liquid
RNA interference, or RNAi, is a relatively young but important field of study in genetics research that is leading to new treatment options for cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses. City of Hope scientists recently published findings that may advance these efforts in the journal Nucleic Acids Research. Scientists can target disease-causing proteins with interfering RNA molecules. City of Hope researchers continue to improve the method. Study first author Nicholas Snead, Ph.D., a recent graduate of the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences at City of Hope, explains the significance of the…

At the crossroads, translational lab speeds ideas into therapies

March 28, 2013 | by
David DiGiusto at his laboratory, where he aims to rapidly turn novel ideas into viable treatments for serious illnesses.
David DiGiusto, Ph.D., works at the intersection of science and medicine. David DiGiusto at his laboratory, where he aims to rapidly turn novel ideas into viable treatments for serious illnesses. As the director of the Laboratory for Cellular Medicine, he oversees stem cell research, product development and manufacturing. The manufacturing arm of the lab — the Cellular Therapy Production Center — is one of three onsite facilities at City of Hope that make investigational treatments for cancer and other life-threatening diseases. In short, his lab is the bridge between basic research where bold ideas are born…

Can doping increase risk of cancer? Yes. Testicular cancer? Unknown.

January 16, 2013 | by
Doping has cancer risks
Oprah Winfrey says that during her interview with Lance Armstrong, to be aired in two parts starting Thursday, he admitted to doping during his cycling career. That detail is feeding speculation among the public and the media about whether those doping activities may have contributed to his diagnosis of testicular cancer. Doping might provide a winning edge, but cancer risks from products show a losing bet. So far, it’s not possible to give a definitive answer to that question. The known connection between testicular cancer and common doping regimens is tenuous at best. Further, although  there’s been plenty of speculation…

On World AIDS Day, scientific advances elicit optimism

December 1, 2012 | by
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World AIDS Day is marked this year with a renewed optimism that science and medicine could soon change the course of the disease — again. First came the AIDS drug AZT, then the combinations of antiretroviral drugs known as AIDS cocktails. Both were significant advances that gave hope, and longer life expectancy, to patients with the virus. Now many experts are cautiously talking about cures as an eventuality rather than a dream. Part of that optimism is fueled by the gene therapies currently in development at City of Hope. (more…)

What is your HIV status? You should find out

November 21, 2012 | by
HIV-infected T-cells under high magnification
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is no stranger to controversial stances — especially on cancer screenings. Now it’s tackling HIV/AIDS. In draft guidelines released this week, the task force suggests that everyone  age 15 to 64 be routinely screened for HIV regardless of the individual’s  relative risk of infection. The full panel has yet to decide on the guidelines, but one  City of Hope expert fully endorses the recommendation. (more…)

Drug cocktails changed the face of one disease and may do the same in cancer

April 19, 2012 | by
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) logo
Who can argue that peanut butter does not taste great with chocolate? And as much as we admire Albert Einstein for his solitary work on understanding that whole “space-time” relationship, we also celebrate the group mind of scientists like Francis Crick, Rosalind A. Franklin and James D. Watson who, together, worked out the structure of DNA. Sometimes things are simply better in pairs — or trios. Take highly active antiretroviral therapy, commonly called HAART, for one. Many physicians cite the introduction of HAART — basically a combination of three or more virus-fighting drugs — in…

Remembering 30 years of AIDS

December 13, 2011 | by
Photo of Alexandra Levine
Alexandra Levine This December is AIDS Awareness Month, and 2011 marks 30 years since the first cases of AIDS were detected. During the past three decades, more than 25 million people around the world have died of AIDS, though there are new signs of hope for stopping the epidemic. Alexandra Levine, M.D., M.A.C.P., chief medical officer of City of Hope and deputy director for clinical programs of the cancer center, was on the front lines of the early fight against HIV/AIDS. As an expert in blood disorders, she was one of the first physicians to…

How Close to a Cure for AIDS?

December 1, 2011 | by
John Rossi, Ph.D.
John Rossi (Photo by Paula Myers) December 1 is World AIDS Day, and 2011 marks 30 years since doctors diagnosed the first cases of AIDS. HIV/AIDS expert John J. Rossi, Ph.D., Lidow Family Research Chair in City of Hope’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, spoke with Breakthroughs about advancements made in the last three decades — and prospects for a cure. How much progress has been made in the past 30 years against HIV/AIDS? We have had great improvements in outcomes, and in reducing the viral load in the bodies of HIV-infected people. As…

City of Hope teams with Caltech on new cancer and HIV/AIDS therapies

October 18, 2011 | by
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City of Hope Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology Scientists from City of Hope and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have joined forces on biomedical and bioengineering research projects that may ultimately boost treatment for cancer, diabetes and other diseases. Through the Caltech/City of Hope Biomedical Research Initiative, four scientific teams have split grants totaling $400,000.  The new grants support research into gene therapy for HIV/AIDS and cancer, genetic profiling of cancer stem cells and testing drug targets for leukemia.The research initiative was established in 2008 through a $3…