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A VETERAN of the cancer wars is being pressed into service on a newer clinical front—the fight against AIDS.
In the past year, hydroxyurea's in vitro promise has been translated into a handful of clinical trials in the United States and Europe. The drug may not be a powerhouse in itself, but researchers say it is especially potent against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in combination with the nucleoside analogue didanosine, also called ddl.
On a broad scale, some researchers hope hydroxyurea will usher in an era of greater focus on cancer drugs as anti-HIV agents. More narrowly, hydroxyurea represents a new approach in combating the virus.
"Drugs developed in the last 10 years primarily target the virus. Instead, we want to target cellular factors so that we can, in effect, starve the virus," explains Franco Lori, MD, PhD, director of a new European laboratory, the Research Institute for Genetic
Cancer Drug May Join the AIDS Arsenal. JAMA. 1995;274(7):523. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530070021006