The TRAILBLAZER study, as it’s called, aims to change the parts of a patient’s white blood cells that HIV latches onto, says Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UC College of Medicine.
Fichtenbaum is a principal investigator on the study and has been Fox’s doctor for years.
“The idea behind this study that we’re doing is to take a person’s cells from their white blood cells that harbor that receptor, take it in the laboratory, remove the receptor through genetic engineering and then infuse those cells back into the person,” he tells WCPO.
“Our hope in the future is that perhaps if we were to do this often enough, and change enough cells in the body, that people who have HIV may be able to control the HIV, even without any medication,” Fichtenbaum says. “And it may be the first steps or ideas to really trying to cure people.”
See the full WCPO study here and read more about the TRAILBLAZER study here.