William Spreen

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, United States

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Publications (20)158.41 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abacavir hypersensitivity (ABC HSR) is a treatment-limiting adverse event associated with the use of the antiretroviral medicine, abacavir. The objective of the ABC HSR pharmacogenetics program was to identify clinically useful genetic risk factors to predict an individual patient's risk for ABC HSR. The major histocompatibility complex allele, HLA-B*5701, was identified retrospectively and confirmed with independent sample sets. The clinical utility of prospective HLA-B*5701 screening was demonstrated in a blinded randomized clinical trial and in open-label cohorts. Screening has been incorporated into clinical practice and the ABC HSR pharmacogenetics program has been highlighted as a success by pharmacogenetics researchers. Important lessons from this pharmacogenetics program will be discussed in this paper.
    Pharmacogenomics 03/2009; 10(2):225-33. · 3.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The hypersensitivity (HSR) to abacavir (ABC) pharmacogenetics (PGx) program represents the progression from an exploratory discovery to a validated biomarker. Within the program, two retrospective PGx studies were conducted to identify HIV-1 patients at increased risk for ABC HSR, a treatment-limiting and potentially life-threatening adverse event. A strong statistical association between the major histocompatibility complex allele, HLA-B*5701, and clinically diagnosed ABC HSR was identified but varied between racial populations. Subsequently, ABC skin patch testing was introduced as a research tool to supplement clinical case ascertainment. In a randomized, prospective study evaluating the clinical utility of HLA-B*5701 screening, avoidance of ABC in HLA-B*5701-positive patients significantly reduced clinically diagnosed ABC HSR and eliminated patch test-positive ABC HSR. Finally, a retrospective PGx study supports the generalizability of the association across races. Prospective HLA-B*5701 screening should greatly reduce the incidence of ABC HSR by identifying patients at high risk for ABC HSR before they are treated.
    The Pharmacogenomics Journal 04/2008; 8(6):365-74. · 5.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pharmacogenetics (PGx) - the study of DNA variation in the human genome and the way this impacts the efficacy and safety of medicines - is becoming an increasingly important research tool as physicians, patients, regulatory authorities and payers look for innovative ways to improve the risk:benefit ratio of medicines. While scientific knowledge about PGx is rapidly increasing, implementation of PGx findings to patient care has yet to be fully achieved. One area where significant progress has been made is in the identification of PGx markers associated with variable response to antiretroviral medicines. For example, the major histocompatibility complex HLA-B*5701 allele has been associated with hypersensitivity to abacavir (ABC) by several independent researchers. While PGx associations have been identified largely through retrospective examination, the clinical utility of these PGx markers in patient care has not been prospectively determined in a randomized study. This paper outlines the design of a study to evaluate the utility of prospective screening for HLA-B*5701 to reduce the incidence of ABC hypersensitivity in an ABC-naïve population of HIV-infected subjects. This represents the first fully powered, randomized, blinded, prospective study to determine the clinical utility of PGx screening to reduce drug-associated adverse events in any patient population. This type of trial design may have utility for other important medicines which have treatment-limiting side effects.
    Pharmaceutical Statistics 01/2008; 7(2):121-9. · 0.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the association of efavirenz hypersusceptibility (EFV-HS) with clinical outcome in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of EFV plus indinavir (EFV+IDV) vs. EFV+IDV plus abacavir (ABC) in 283 nucleoside-experienced HIV-infected patients. Rates of virologic failure were similar in the 2 arms at week 16 (p = .509). Treatment discontinuations were more common in the ABC arm (p = .001). Using logistic regression, there was no association between virologic failure and either baseline ABC resistance or regimen sensitivity score. Using 3 different genotypic scoring systems, EFV-HS was significantly associated with reduced virologic failure at week 16, independent of treatment assignment. In some patients on the nucleoside-sparing arm, the nucleoside-resistance mutation L74V was selected for in combination with the uncommonly occurring EFV-resistance mutations K103N+L100I; L74V was not detected as a minority variant, using clonal sequence analysis, when the nucleoside-sparing regimen was initiated. Premature treatment discontinuations in the ABC arm and the presence of EFV-HS HIV variants in this patient population likely made it difficult to detect a benefit of adding ABC to EFV+IDV. In addition, L74V, when combined with K103N+L100I, may confer a selective advantage to the virus that is independent of its effects on nucleoside resistance.
    HIV Clinical Trials 01/2008; 9(1):11-25. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of pharmacogenetic research is to identify a genetic marker, or a set of genetic markers, that can predict how a given person will respond to a given medicine. To search for such marker combinations that are predictive of adverse drug events, we have developed and applied two complementary methods to a pharmacogenetic study of the hypersensitivity reaction (HSR) associated with treatment with abacavir, a medicine that is used to treat HIV-infected patients. Our results show that both of these methods can be used to uncover potentially useful predictive marker combinations. The pairwise marker combination method yielded a collection of marker pairs that featured a spectrum of sensitivities and specificities. Recursive partitioning results led to the genetic delineation of multiple risk categories, including those with extremely high and extremely low risk of HSR. These methods can be readily applied in pharmacogenetic candidate gene studies as well as in genome-wide scans.
    The Pharmacogenomics Journal 07/2007; 7(3):180-9. · 5.13 Impact Factor
  • Pharmacogenetics 12/2004; 14(11):783-4; author reply 784.
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    ABSTRACT: An abstract is unavailable. This article is available as HTML full text and PDF.
    Pharmacogenetics and Genomics 10/2004; 14(11):783. · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abacavir is an effective antiretroviral drug used to treat HIV-1 infection. Approximately 5% of patients treated with abacavir develop a hypersensitivity reaction that requires discontinuation of the drug. In an initial pharmacogenetic study conducted in a predominantly White male population, multiple markers in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B chromosomal region were associated with hypersensitivity to abacavir. The HLA-B*5701 association has now been confirmed in White males in a subsequent, larger study (n=293, p=4.7 x 10(-18)) and is also observed in White females (n=56, p=6.8 x 10(-6)) and Hispanics (n=104, p=2.1 x 10(-4)). HLA-B*5701 was not associated with hypersensitivity in Blacks (n=78, p=0.27). HLA-B*5701 alone lacks sufficient predictive value to identify patients at risk for hypersensitivity to abacavir across diverse patient populations. Efforts are ongoing to identify markers with sufficient sensitivity and specificity to be clinically useful. Even after a marker set is identified, appropriate clinical identification and management of hypersensitivity to abacavir must remain the cornerstone of clinical practice.
    Pharmacogenomics 04/2004; 5(2):203-11. · 3.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate HIV-1 reverse transcriptase genotypic and phenotypic indicators of resistance to abacavir (ABC) as predictors of ABC antiviral efficacy. The study was a retrospective, combined analysis of five multicentre trials in which ABC was added as a single agent to background antiretroviral therapy in experienced adults. Baseline HIV-1 genotype and phenotypic susceptibility to ABC were determined and the association of genotype and phenotype with virological response after addition of ABC was analysed. Overall, 68% of these therapy-experienced subjects had a virological response (>0.5 log10 or <400 copies/ml; 42% <400 copies/ml) 4 weeks after addition of ABC. Multivariable analyses revealed no significant difference in the response rate between subjects with wild-type virus and those carrying virus with 1-2 nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)-associated mutations. At the 4-week time-point subjects harbouring virus with > or = 3 mutations associated with NRTI resistance were significantly less likely to respond to ABC than were subjects harbouring wild-type virus (P=0.015). However, at the last viral RNA measurement after addition of ABC (12-28 weeks), > or = 4 mutations were required to diminish virological response significantly (P=0.012). Phenotypic resistance was also predictive of antiviral response. Significant breakpoints were identified for virological responses for the PhenoSense HIV assay and the Antivirogram assay. CD4 responses generally paralleled the antiviral responses with a median increase of 55 cells/microl by weeks 12-28. Virological response to ABC may be diminished significantly by multiple NRTI-associated mutations and/or by reductions in phenotypic susceptibility to ABC. However, many subjects with baseline samples showing evidence of resistance to NRTIs respond to ABC.
    Antiviral therapy 03/2004; 9(1):37-45. · 3.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) drug resistance in patients receiving abacavir, lamivudine and zidovudine therapy. In a randomized, double-blind study, 173 antiretroviral treatment-naive HIV-1-infected adults received abacavir/lamivudine/zidovudine or lamivudine/zidovudine for up to 48 weeks. After week 16, patients could switch to open-label abacavir/lamivudine/zidovudine, and those with plasma HIV-1 RNA (vRNA) > 400 copies/ml could add other antiretrovirals. From weeks 11 to 48, samples with vRNA > 400 copies/ml were collected for genotyping and phenotyping. At baseline, 90% of isolates were wild-type (WT). At week 16, vRNA was > 400 copies/ml in seven of 72 (10% patients receiving abacavir/lamivudine/zidovudine and in 41 of 66 (62%) receiving lamivudine/ zidovudine. At week 16, the genotypes in isolates from the abacavir/lamivudine/zidovudine group were M184V alone (n = 3 cases), WT (n = 3) and M184V plus thymidine analogue mutations (TAMs) (n = 1). The genotypes in isolates from the lamivudine/zidovudine group were M184V alone (n = 37), WT ( n= 1) and M184V plus TAMs (n = 3). In the four cases where M184V plus TAMs were detected some mutations were present at baseline. Despite detectable M184V in 74% of patients on lamivudine/zidovudine, addition of abacavir with or without another antiretroviral therapy resulted in a reduction in vRNA, with 42 of 65 (65%) patients having week 48 vRNA < 400 copies/ml (intent-to-treat with missing = failure). At week 48, the most common genotype was M184V alone in the abacavir/ lamivudine/zidovudine group (median vRNA 1-2 log,10 below baseline), and M184V with or without TAMs in patients originally assigned to lamivudine/zidovudine. At week 48, phenotypic results were obtained for 11 isolates for patients from both arms, and all had reduced susceptibility to lamivudine but all remained sensitive to stavudine, all protease inhibitors and all non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Three, three and two isolates had reduced susceptibility to abacavir, didanosine and zidovudine, respectively. Abacavir retained efficacy against isolates with the M184V genotype alone. TAMs did not develop during 48 weeks of abacavir/lamivudine/zidovudine therapy and were uncommon when abacavir was added after 16 weeks of lamivudine/zidovudine therapy. Limited mutations upon rebound on this triple nucleoside combination allows for several subsequent treatment options.
    Antiviral therapy 04/2002; 7(1):43-51. · 3.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypersensitivity to abacavir affects about 4% of patients who receive the drug for HIV-1 infection. We did a retrospective, case-control study to identify multiple markers in the vicinity of HLA-B associated with hypersensitivity reactions. HLA-B57 was present in 39 (46%) of 84 patients versus four (4%) of 113 controls (p<0 small middle dot0001). However, because of low numbers of women and other ethnic groups enrolled, these findings relate largely to white men. The lower sensitivity of HLA-B57 for predicting hypersensitivity to abacavir identified in this study compared with a previous report highlights that predictive values for markers will vary across populations. Clinical monitoring and management of hypersensitivity reactions among patients receiving abacavir must remain unchanged.
    The Lancet 03/2002; 359(9312):1121-2. · 39.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess antiretroviral efficacy and safety of abacavir in combination with selected HIV-1 protease inhibitors. A 48-week, open-label study. Eighty-two antiretroviral naive HIV-1-infected adults (CD4 cell count > or = 100 cells/mm3, plasma HIV-1 RNA > or = 5,000 copies/ml) were randomly assigned to receive abacavir (300 mg twice daily) in combination with standard doses of one of five protease inhibitors: indinavir, saquinavir soft-gel, ritonavir, nelfinavir or amprenavir. Adults who met protocol-defined switch criteria at or after week 8 could modify their randomized therapy. Antiretroviral activity was assessed by the proportion of subjects with plasma HIV-1 RNA < or = 400 and < or = 50 copies/ml, and by changes in plasma HIV-1 RNA levels and CD4 cell counts. Safety was assessed by monitoring clinical adverse events and laboratory abnormalities. At week 48, the proportion of subjects in the indinavir, saquinavir, ritonavir, nelfinavir and amprenavir groups with plasma HIV-1 RNA < or = 400 copies/ml was 53, 50, 50, 41 and 56%, respectively, and the proportion with HIV-1 RNA < or = 50 copies/ml was 47, 56, 50, 47, and 44%, respectively (by intent-to-treat analysis). Median reductions from baseline in plasma HIV-1 RNA for each group ranged from 1.7 to 2.4 log10 copies/ml. The median CD4 cell count increase from baseline was 195, 131, 116, 136 and 259 cells/mm3 in the indinavir, saquinavir, ritonavir, nelfinavir, and amprenavir groups, respectively. Overall, the most common adverse events attributed to study drugs were diarrhoea, nausea, malaise/fatigue, headache and perioral paresthesia. The frequency of treatment-limiting adverse events did not differ between groups. Abacavir is safe and effective when used in combination with a protease inhibitor.
    Antiviral therapy 06/2001; 6(2):105-14. · 3.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abacavir, a nucleoside analogue, has demonstrated suppression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication alone and in combination therapy. However, the role of abacavir in a triple nucleoside combination regimen has not been evaluated against a standard protease inhibitor-containing regimen for initial antiretroviral treatment. To evaluate antiretroviral equivalence and safety of an abacavir-lamivudine-zidovudine regimen compared with an indinavir-lamivudine-zidovudine regimen. A multicenter, phase 3, randomized, double-blind trial with an enrollment period from August 1997 to June 1998, with follow-up through 48 weeks at 73 clinical research units in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. Five hundred sixty-two antiretroviral-naive, HIV-infected adults with a plasma HIV RNA level of at least 10 000 copies/mL and a CD4 cell count of at least 100 x 10(6)/L. Patients were stratified by baseline HIV RNA level and randomly assigned to receive a combination tablet containing 150 mg of lamivudine and 300 mg of zidovudine twice daily plus either 300 mg of abacavir twice daily and indinavir placebo or 800 mg of indinavir every 8 hours daily plus abacavir placebo. After 16 weeks, patients with confirmed HIV RNA levels greater than 400 copies/mL were eligible to continue receiving randomized treatment or receive open-label therapy. Virologic suppression, defined as HIV RNA concentration of 400 copies/mL or less at week 48. The proportion of patients who met the end point of having an HIV RNA level of 400 copies/mL or less at week 48 was equivalent in the abacavir group (51% [133/262]) and in the indinavir group (51% [136/265]) with a treatment difference of -0.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], -9% to 8%). In patients with baseline HIV RNA levels greater than 100 000 copies/mL, the proportion of patients achieving less than 50 copies/mL was greater in the indinavir group than in the abacavir group with 45% (45/100) vs 31% (30/96) and a treatment diference of -14% (95% CI, -27% to 0%). The 2 treatments were comparable with respect to their effects on CD4 cell count. There was no difference between groups in the frequency of treatment-limiting adverse events or laboratory abnormalities. One death in the abacavir group was attributed to hypersensitivity reaction, which occurred following rechallenge with abacavir, approximately 3 weeks after initiating study treatment. In this study of antiretroviral-naive HIV-infected adults, the triple nucleoside regimen of abacavir-lamivudine-zidovudine was equivalent to the regimen of indinavir-lamivudine-zidovudine in achieving a plasma HIV RNA level of less than 400 copies/mL at 48 weeks.
    JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 04/2001; 285(9):1155-63. · 29.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abacavir (ABC) is a potent inhibitor of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) reverse transcriptase. We compared the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of combination therapy with ABC, lamivudine (3TC), and zidovudine (ZDV) versus 3TC and ZDV in antiretroviral experienced HIV-1-infected children over 48 weeks. Two hundred five HIV-1-infected children who had received previous antiretroviral therapy and had CD4(+) cell counts >/=100 cells/mm(3) were stratified by age and by previous treatment. Participants were randomly assigned to receive ABC (8 mg/kg twice daily [BID]) plus 3TC (4 mg/kg BID) and ZDV (180 mg/m(2) BID; ABC/3TC/ZDV group) or ABC placebo plus 3TC (4 mg/kg BID) and ZDV (180 mg/m(2); 3TC/ZDV group). Participants who met a protocol-defined switch criteria (plasma HIV-1 RNA >0.5 log(10) copies/mL above baseline at week 8 or >10 000 copies/mL after week 16) had the option to switch to open-label ABC plus any antiretroviral combination or continue randomized therapy or withdraw from the study. The Kaplan-Meier estimates (95% confidence interval) of the proportion of participants who maintained HIV-1 RNA levels </=10 000 copies/mL for 48 weeks or more was significantly better in the ABC/3TC/ZDV group compared with the 3TC/ZDV group: 33% (23%-42%) versus 21% (13%-29%). At week 48, the proportions of participants with HIV-1 RNA </=10 000 copies/mL were 36% versus 26% for the ABC/3TC/ZDV and 3TC/ZDV groups, respectively, by intent-to-treat analysis. For the subgroup of participants with baseline HIV-1 RNA >10 000 copies/mL, a significantly higher proportion of participants in the ABC/3TC/ZDV group had HIV-1 RNA </=10 000 copies/mL compared with the 3TC/ZDV group (29% vs 12%) but no difference was observed in the subgroup of participants with baseline HIV-1 RNA </=10 000 copies/mL (78% vs 72%). The median changes from baseline in CD4(+) cell counts were greater in the ABC/3TC/ZDV group than in the 3TC/ZDV group. Few participants (3%) experienced abacavir-related hypersensitivity reaction. ABC, in combination with 3TC and ZDV, provides additional antiretroviral activity over 48 weeks, compared with combination therapy with 3TC and ZDV in antiretroviral experienced HIV-1-infected children. ABC was safe and generally well-tolerated and should be considered an active component of combination antiretroviral therapy in this pediatric population.
    PEDIATRICS 01/2001; 107(1):E4. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To characterize early and later indices of cellular restoration among HIV-1 infected persons treated with abacavir and one protease inhibitor and to identify predictors of CD4 cell increases. Flow-cytometric analyses of lymphocyte phenotypes among 71 antiretroviral treatment naive adults in a 48 week treatment trial. During the first 4 weeks of therapy, increases in naive and memory CD4 cells and in B cells were seen; naive CD8 cells increased while CD8 cells remained stable as memory CD8 cells decreased. During the second phase total CD4 and naive CD4 and CD8 cells increased while total CD8 and memory CD8 cells decreased. The numbers of CD4 cells that expressed CD28 increased from a median of 308 x 10(6)/l at baseline to 477 x 10(6)/l at week 48. Higher baseline plasma HIV-1 RNA levels predicted the magnitude of early CD4 (r = 0.35; P = 0.01), memory CD4 (r = 0.38; P = 0.001) and CD28 CD4 cell (r = 0.29; P = 0.01) restoration but was not related to second phase changes. Younger age predicted a greater second phase (but not first phase) increase in naive CD4 cells (r = -0.31; P = 0.03). Higher baseline levels of HIV-1 replication determine the magnitude of first phase CD4 cell increases after suppression of HIV-1 replication. Second phase (primarily naive) CD4 cell increases are not related to HIV-1 replication but are inversely relate to age suggesting that thymic potential is a major determinant of long term cellular restoration in HIV-1 infected persons receiving antiretroviral therapy.
    AIDS 01/2001; 14(17):2635-42. · 6.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To evaluate the immunological and virological responses to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in blood and lymphoid compartments of HIV-1-infected patients at an early stage of infection. Design: An open-label, observational, non-randomized, prospective trial of outpatients attending the Centre of Clinical Investigation in Infectious Diseases, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Subjects: Forty-one antiretroviral-naive HIV-1-infected adults with 400 CD4 T cells/μl or greater and 5000 plasma HIV-1-RNA copies/ml or greater were enrolled, and 32 finished the study. Forty-nine HIV-negative individuals were included as controls. All subjects gave written informed consent. Interventions: All patients received abacavir 300 mg by mouth every 12 h and amprenavir 1200 mg by mouth every 12 h for 72 weeks. Mainoutcome measures: The extent of immune reconstitution in blood and lymph nodes after 72 weeks of HAART was evaluated, and compared with immunological measures of 49 HIV-negative subjects. Results: Virus replication was effectively suppressed (-3.5 log10 at week 72). Substantial increments of CD4 T cell count in blood and percentage in lymph nodes were observed over time, and these measures were comparable to HIV-negative subjects by week 24 in blood and by week 48 in lymph nodes. The increase was equally distributed between naive and memory CD4 T cells. Recovery of HIV-specific CD4 responses occurred in 40% of patients. Conclusion: The initiation of HAART at an early stage of established HIV infection induces systemic quantitative normalization of CD4 T cells, a partial recovery of HIV-specific CD4 cell responses, and effective and durable suppression of virus replication.
    AIDS 09/2000; 14(13):1887-1897. · 6.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate, over 12 weeks, the antiretroviral activity and safety of abacavir, used alone and in combination with zidovudine (ZDV), as treatment for HIV-1-infected subjects who had limited or no antiretroviral treatment. Seventy-nine HIV-1-infected subjects, with CD4 cell counts 200-500 x 10(6)/l and <12 weeks of previous treatment with ZDV were enrolled in a multicenter study. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of four cohorts receiving abacavir monotherapy for the first 4 weeks (200, 400, or 600 mg every 8 h daily, or 300 mg every 12 h daily) and, thereafter, combination therapy of abacavir with 600 mg ZDV or ZDV placebo, administered in a double-blind manner for an additional 8 weeks. Antiretroviral activity was assessed by measuring changes in plasma HIV-1 RNA levels and CD4+ cell counts. Safety was assessed by monitoring clinical adverse events and laboratory abnormalities during the 12-week period and for 4 weeks post-treatment. Treatment with abacavir, alone or in combination with ZDV, produced marked decreases in plasma HIV-1 RNA loads and increases in CD4+ cell counts in all groups. At week 4, median plasma HIV-1 RNA loads decreased by 1.11-1.77 log10 copies/ml and median CD4+ cell counts increased by 63-111 x 10(6)/l in all groups. At week 12, median HIV-1 RNA loads decreased by 1.02-2.24 log10 copies/ml (abacavir monotherapy) and by 1.81-2.01 log10 copies/ml (abacavir-ZDV); median CD4+ cell counts increased by 79-195 x 10(6)/l (abacavir monotherapy) and by 93-142 x 10(6)/l (abacavir-ZDV). At week 12, the percentage of subjects who had plasma HIV-1 RNA levels below 400 and 40 copies/ml were 28 and 11%, respectively (abacavir monotherapy) and 69 and 22%, respectively (abacavir-ZDV). Eight subjects (10%) discontinued the study prematurely because of adverse events; nausea (n = 4) and hypersensitivity (n = 3) were the most common reasons for withdrawal. There were no deaths among the study subjects. In HIV-infected subjects who have received little or no prior antiretroviral therapy, treatment with abacavir alone or in combination with ZDV is well tolerated and resulted in sustained improvements in key immunologic and virologic efficacy parameters through 12 weeks.
    AIDS 12/1998; 12(16):F203-9. · 6.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: To evaluate, over 12 weeks, the antiretroviral activity and safety of abacavir, used alone and in combination with zidovudine (ZDV), as treatment for HIV-1-infected subjects who had limited or no antiretroviral treatment. Design: Seventy-nine HIV-1-infected subjects, with CD4 cell counts 200-500 × 106/l and <12 weeks of previous treatment with ZDV were enrolled in a multicenter study. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of four cohorts receiving abacavir monotherapy for the first 4 weeks (200, 400, or 600 mg every 8 h daily, or 300 mg every 12 h daily) and, thereafter, combination therapy of abacavir with 600 mg ZDV or ZDV placebo, administered in a double-blind manner for an additional 8 weeks. Methods: Antiretroviral activity was assessed by measuring changes in plasma HIV-1 RNA levels and CD4+ cell counts. Safety was assessed by monitoring clinical adverse events and laboratory abnormalities during the 12-week period and for 4 weeks post-treatment. Results: Treatment with abacavir, alone or in combination with ZDV, produced marked decreases in plasma HIV-1 RNA loads and increases in CD4+ cell counts in all groups. At week 4, median plasma HIV-1 RNA loads decreased by 1.11-1.77 log10 copies/ml and median CD4+ cell counts increased by 63-111 × 106/l in all groups. At week 12, median HIV-1 RNA loads decreased by 1.02-2.24 log10 copies/ml (abacavir monotherapy) and by 1.81-2.01 log10 copies/ml (abacavir-ZDV); median CD4+ cell counts increased by 79-195 × 106/l (abacavir monotherapy) and by 93-142 × 106/l (abacavir-ZDV). At week 12, the percentage of subjects who had plasma HIV-1 RNA levels below 400 and 40 copies/ml were 28 and 11%, respectively (abacavir monotherapy) and 69 and 22%, respectively (abacavir-ZDV). Eight subjects (10%) discontinued the study prematurely because of adverse events; nausea (n = 4) and hypersensitivity (n = 3) were the most common reasons for withdrawal. There were no deaths among the study subjects. Conclusions: In HIV-infected subjects who have received little or no prior antiretroviral therapy, treatment with abacavir alone or in combination with ZDV is well tolerated and resulted in sustained improvements in key immunologic and virologic efficacy parameters through 12 weeks.
    AIDS 11/1998; 12(16):F203-F209. · 6.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We show that the fraction of proliferating CD4+ lymphocytes is similar in HIV-infected subjects in the early stage of disease and in HIV-negative subjects, whereas the fraction of proliferating CD8+ lymphocytes is increased 6.8-fold in HIV-infected subjects. After initiation of antiviral therapy, there is a late increase in proliferating CD4+ T cells associated with the restoration of CD4+ T-cell counts. These results provide strong support for the idea of limited CD4+ T-cell renewal in the early stage of HIV infection and indicate that after effective suppression of virus replication, the mechanisms of CD4+ T-cell production are still functional in early HIV infection.
    Nature Medicine 08/1998; 4(7):794-801. · 22.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Maximizing the durability of viral suppression is a key goal of antiretroviral therapy. The objective of AIDS Clinical Trials Group Study 372A was to determine whether the intensification strategy of adding abacavir to an effective indinavir-dual nucleoside regimen would delay the time to virologic failure. Zidovudine-experienced subjects (n=229) on therapy with indinavir + zidovudine + lamivudine with plasma HIV-1 RNA levels<500 copies/mL were randomized to abacavir 300 mg twice daily or placebo. The primary endpoint was the time to treatment failure, defined as a composite of confirmed virologic failure (2 consecutive HIV-1 RNAs>200 copies/mL) and treatment discontinuation. At baseline, the study population was 88% male with a median age of 41 years and median CD4 cell count of 250/mm3. Median follow-up was 4.4 years. The primary endpoint was reached in 61/116 of abacavir versus 62/113 of placebo recipients (P=.77); virologic failure occurred in 34/116 and 42/113 patients, respectively (P=.22). There were no differences in the proportions of subjects with plasma HIV-1 RNA levels below 50 copies/mL, in CD4 cell count increases, nor adverse events between the arms. In the study, 17% of subjects developed nephrolithiasis, 2% experienced abacavir hypersensitivity, and 4.8% experienced at least 1 serious cardiovascular event (7 [6%] in the abacavir arm, 4 [3.5%] in the placebo arm). In additional secondary and post hoc analyses, rates of intermittent viremia, suppression below a plasma HIV-1 RNA level of 6 copies/mL, and HIV-1 proviral DNA levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were not significantly different in the 2 arms. The strategy of intensification with abacavir in patients who are virologically suppressed on a stable antiretroviral regimen does not confer a clinical or virologic benefit. As antiretroviral regimens have become more potent since this trial was completed, it will be even more difficult to prove that late intensification of already virologically suppressed patients will add benefit. However, studies are warranted with drugs with new mechanisms of action to determine whether the level of persistent viremia below 50 copies/ mL can be further reduced and what influence this may have on latent HIV reservoirs.
    HIV Clinical Trials 11(6):312-24. · 2.30 Impact Factor