(failure of the testicles to descend) in boys. Interest in HCG was stimulated by anecdotes of Kaposi's sarcoma regression in two pregnant women. In the first human trial with HCG, intralesional injection of a formulation of HCG was shown to reduce the size and occasionally lead to complete regression of the treated KS lesions. Investigators observed that the active material is not the normal HCG molecule, but something that accompanies it in the crude material, in the pregnant woman's urine. Whatever the active component, it appears to induce apoptosis (a form of cell suicide) in the lesion. Several studies were conducted using the hormone in Kaposi's sarcoma treatment in the mid-1990s, but the results were not clearly positive enough to warrant further work using HCG.
human gene therapy Treatment of human disease by gene transfer. Most approved gene therapy trials involve use of retroviral vectors for gene transfer into cultured human cells that would be administered to patients. Retroviral vectors are retroviruses lacking all functional viral genes, so no viral protein is produced in infected cells. Viral replication is achieved using "packaging cells" that produce all the viral proteins without the infective virus. This results in efficient and stable targeting of cells. The main drawback though, is the inability of the vectors to infect non-dividing cells. Proposals for human gene therapy have to pass several levels of review to ensure safety.
human growth hormone (HGH) Human growth hormone is a peptide hormone secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain that enhances tissue growth by stimulating protein formation. A synthetic recombinant human growth hormone called Serostim is available to HIV positive people who have HIV wasting syndrome. Naturally occurring HGH is secreted most heavily by the body during adolescence. It gradually decreases over the course of a lifetime, though it never is completely absent from the body. Having too much or too little as a child can lead to various growth abnormalities.
HGH has shown it is possible to replace the lean muscle mass that wasting includes. The variety used to treat wasting syndrome is manufactured by one company and is very expensive. other drug and herbal companies manufacture a variety of synthetic and recombinant HGH. These are sold both through prescription and over the counter formulas. It can come in injectable or pill forms. HGH does not cure the underlying causes of wasting in HIV positives. It does, however, force the body to create more lean muscle mass through rebuilding protein in the body.
Human growth hormone has also been used successfully in the treatment of body fat redistribution syndrome. Buffalo hump as well as truncal obesity due to fat redistribution have resolved themselves in a few weeks or months of treatment with HGH. Daily subcutaneous injections are used in the treatment. Treatment can result also in abnormal breast growth in men. Treatment results may reverse themselves somewhat in people who have body fat abnormalities prior to taking HAART.
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