Attempted treatment of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) with thymic humoral factor.

Y. Berner, Z. T. Handzel, M. Pecht, N. Trainin, Z. Bentwich

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    3 Scopus citations


    This paper presents a case in which treatment of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was attempted with thymic humoral factor (THF). The capacity of THF for immunoenhancement and modulation of the immune response has been demonstrated in other conditions. The patient, a 24-year old black male homosexual from San Francisco, had experienced fever spikes, malaise, fatigue, anorexia, gradual vision loss, and weight loss over an 8-month period. Lymphopenia, T cell deficiencies, and imbalances in T cell subpopulations established the diagnosis of AIDS. Treatment with arabinoside A and fibroblast interferon was not effective. THF was then administered by daily injections for 3 weeks. At the end of the 2nd week of treatment, increased alertness and appetite were noted. Also documented was a transient increase in circulating lymphocytes, T cells, and helper cells. However, at the end of the 3rd week, the patient developed bronchopneumonia followed by renal failure and died in an acute encephalopathic state. Only 1 other (unsuccessful) attempt to treat an advanced case of AIDS with a thymic hormone has been reported. It is suggested that THF treatment might be more effective if offered at a very early stage of AIDS. It is hypothesized that a sufficient pool of precursor T cells is required to serve as target cells for immune modifiers such as THF. This precursor pool probably shrinks beyond rescue in the advanced stages of AIDS. The authors are currently involved in trials of immunomodulation with THF at early stages of immune impairment in pre-AIDS patients.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1195-1196
    Number of pages2
    JournalIsrael Journal of Medical Sciences
    Issue number12
    StatePublished - 1 Dec 1984


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