A researcher at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev found similarities between leukemia and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Dr. Ran Taube of the department of microbiology, immunology and genetics at the Beersheba university maintains that his team’s discovery will lead to a “revolutionary diagnosis and the key to the clinical solution that will prevent infection with HIV and will destroy the deadly virus.
Working in collaboration with Dr. Uri Rubio of Soroka University Medical Center, Taube found similarities between the two diseases. This study aims to eradicate AIDS and hinder the development of leukemia.
Until the research was carried out, medical researchers had only limited information on the existence of a connection between AIDS and a rare blood cancer called mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) that hinders the development of cells in the blood system and occurs mostly in children.
Even though AIDS has become a chronic disease that can be treated with anti-retroviral therapy medications, there has been no treatment that can prevent the spread of the HIV virus, and the number of individuals who are infected rises every year, said Taube. The reasons for this are varied, and some derive from the fact that no vaccine has been developed against the virus to prevent future infection.
Anti-retrovirals that are currently administered do not prevent infection, so their efficacy is limited, Taube said.