News from DCEXS-UPF
A group of researchers at UPF and the Marchuk Institute of Numerical Mathematics in Moscow, Russia, have designed a mathematical model to predict the response of HIV-infected individuals to a type of cancer immunotherapy. The study, which is now published in PLOS Computational Biology, has been led by Andreas Meyerhans and Gennady Bocharov.
More than thirty years after the identification of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), this persistent infection is managed with multiple antiretroviral drugs. Thanks to the current therapy regimens, in many parts of the world, HIV is a chronic condition in which progression to AIDS is increasingly uncommon.
Focusing studies on HIV and cancer patients is relevant because many long-term HIV patients develop cancer. HIV therapies have improved over the years and patients live longer, but they have an increased risk of cancer due to constant immune activation.
The scientists studied human blood samples from HIV-infected individuals, stimulated them with checkpoint inhibitors and then monitored the behaviour in cell culture. “Then we quantified the different responses, and developed a mathematical model to predict how the progression of HIV will be affected”, said Gennady Bocharov. “We predicted how much the virus is reduced and how many CD4 T cells increase in the patient, which has a clinical significance”, he added.
Zheltkova V, Argilaguet J, Peligero C, Bocharov G, Meyerhans A. Prediction of PD-L1 inhibition effects for HIV-infected individuals. PLOS Computational Biology, November 2019. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007401