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Stanford Researchers Create HIV-Resistant Cells, May Lead To Gene Therapy

STANFORD (KCBS) - Stanford researchers have developed T-cells capable in a laboratory setting of resisting HIV, a breakthrough that could pave the way for a possible gene therapy which would be able to stop the virus that causes AIDS.

The discovery, reported in Tuesday's issue of Molecular Therapy, suggests it could be possible to strength any cell that HIV attacks, making it impossible for the virus to infect any part of the immune system.

"HIV is a very nefarious and devious virus that likes to mutate and escape all the roadblocks we put in its way. So what we're trying to do is not just simply make one roadblock, but instead create several roadblocks," said Dr. Matthew Porteus, an associate professor of pediatrics at Stanford University.

Stanford Researchers Create HIV Resistant Immune Cells That Could Pave Way For Gene Therapy

The findings hint at a future when drug cocktails are no longer used to treat HIV.

"The idea would be that this would be a one-shot therapy. The patient would come in, we would harvest their cells, we would modify them, and then we would give them back. And then we would be done," Porteus said.

Without a place to go, HIV could not live in the body. "Biology would take care of the rest," Porteus said.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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