The index below is a selection of new studies and review articles by researchers from across the HMS community.
When to Initiate Combined Antiretroviral Therapy to Reduce Mortality and AIDS-Defining Illness in HIV-Infected Persons in Developed Countries: An Observational Study.
The HIV-CAUSAL Collaboration (12 institutions, including the Harvard School of Public Health)
Most clinical guidelines recommend that AIDS-free, HIV-infected persons with CD4 cell counts below 0.350 × 10(9) cells/L initiate combined antiretroviral therapy (cART), but the optimal count at which cART should be initiated remains a matter of debate. Objective: To identify the optimal CD4 cell count at which cART should be initiated. Conclusion: Initiation of cART at a threshold CD4 count of 0.500 × 10(9) cells/L increases AIDS-free survival. However, mortality did not vary substantially with the use of CD4 thresholds between 0.300 and 0.500 × 10(9) cells/L. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2011 April 19;154(8):509–15.
Pancreatic cancers require autophagy for tumor growth.
Yang S, Wang X, Contino G, Liesa M, Sahin E, Ying H, Bause A, Li Y, Stommel JM, Dell’antonio G, Mautner J, Tonon G, Haigis M, Shirihai OS, Doglioni C, Bardeesy N, Kimmelman AC. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, HMS
Macroautophagy (autophagy) is a regulated catabolic pathway to degrade cellular organelles and macromolecules. Its role in cancer is complex and may differ depending on tumor type or context. The authors show that pancreatic cancers have a distinct dependence on autophagy. These results suggest that, unlike in other cancers where autophagy inhibition may synergize with chemotherapy or targeted agents by preventing the up-regulation of autophagy as a reactive survival mechanism, autophagy is actually required for tumorigenic growth of pancreatic cancers de novo, and drugs that inactivate this process may have a unique clinical utility in treating pancreatic cancers and other malignancies with a similar dependence on autophagy. As chloroquine and its derivatives are potent inhibitors of autophagy and have been used safely in human patients, these results are immediately translatable to the treatment of pancreatic cancer patients, and provide a much needed, novel vantage point of attack. Genes & Development. 2011 April 1;25(7):717–29. Epub 2011 Mar 15.