While a large number of candidate drugs and drug combinations are being evaluated for treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, clinicians are confronted by the problem of how to optimally use those antiretroviral drugs already approved for clinical use. While new techniques are being developed for studying HIV pathogenesis, clinicians are asking whether these new techniques can be used to develop improved strategies for treating the HIV-infected individual. In the current issue of the Journal, Kojima et al. from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) used two research techniques to analyze the results of a phase I/II study comparing alternating versus simultaneous therapy with zidovudine and didanosine. The authors used a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for measuring plasma virus RNA and a selective PCR assay for detecting specific HIV reverse transcriptase (RT) drug-resistance mutations. Their study demonstrates the potential for effective combination therapy if drugs are optimally combined and suggests that assays for measuring HIV burden and HIV drug resistance can be used to better understand the results of preliminary clinical trials. In addition, their study raises questions about the potential role for measurements of virus burden and the detection of HIV drug resistance in larger clinical trials and clinical practice.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995QU64000036
View details for PubMedID 7751711