Purpose of review: The purpose of this review is to describe the current status of immunotherapies for the treatment of HIV-1 infection. This review is timely, as the results of the phase III clinical trials of recombinant interleukin-2 (rIL-2) as adjuncts to combination antiretroviral therapy are about to be released.
Recent findings: For many years, the use of rIL-2 in HIV-infected individuals has been explored. Although the results of the clinical endpoint studies of rIL-2 are awaited, there are now further data for rIL-2 as a stand-alone therapy for the treatment of HIV. Maraviroc, a recently approved anti-HIV agent, is a small molecule antagonist of human chemokine receptor-5. The recent observation that maraviroc-treated patients achieved higher CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell counts compared with comparator regimens (without a chemokine receptor-5 antagonist) for equivalent viral load reductions has fuelled interest in using these host-directed therapies to enhance immune restoration.
Summary: This review summarizes the most recent clinical data for rIL-2 and reviews other immunotherapies in earlier development including cytokines rIL-7, rIL-15, rIL-21, new therapeutic vaccination approaches including infusion of overlapping HIV peptides and dendritic cell immunotherapy and novel agents including luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone analogues and vitamin D3-binding protein macrophage activating factor.