An End to Herpes -- and HIV?
WebMD News Archive
"We are very confident that we can give it safely to humans," NCI
researcher Edward A. Sausville, MD, PhD, tells WebMD. "The major side
effects are related to diarrhea." That is one of the reasons drug companies
are looking at other drugs to block cdk -- drugs that might not have this
unpleasant side effect, he says.
Sausville says that anti-cdk drugs will still have to undergo full safety
tests before they can be used against virus infections. Although previous
studies in cancer patients have shown that the drugs that block cdk appear to
be safe in humans, the drugs in development to fight viruses are slightly
different, he says. Therefore, the drugs still need to be closely scrutinized,
but Sausville is encouraged that this new research will speed things along.
Sausville is an associate director of the NCI's developmental therapeutics
It will also be of great interest to show exactly which of the cdks must be
blocked in order to stop these viruses from causing disease, University of Iowa
biochemist David H. Price, PhD, tells WebMD. Price and co-workers are currently
developing drugs similar to cdk blockers to fight HIV.
- Scientists say a new class of drugs may be effective against viruses that
cause diseases like herpes and AIDS.
- Instead of trying to kill the virus, these drugs take a different approach:
They prevent an invading virus from using its human host's cdk, a substance
that drives cell division. Without cdk, the virus can't reproduce itself.
- It's possible that cdk-blocking agents could be used to fight certain types
of cancer. Scientists still have to access their safety in people as well as
learn how knocking out cdk can prevent a viral infection.