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Individualization of antiretroviral therapy

Authors Pavlos R, Phillips EJ

Published 29 December 2011 Volume 2012:5 Pages 1—17


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Rebecca Pavlos, Elizabeth J Phillips
Institute for Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia, Australia

Abstract: Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has evolved considerably over the last three decades. From the early days of monotherapy with high toxicities and pill burdens, through to larger pill burdens and more potent combination therapies, and finally, from 2005 and beyond where we now have the choice of low pill burdens and once-daily therapies. More convenient and less toxic regimens are also becoming available, even in resource-poor settings. An understanding of the individual variation in response to ART, both efficacy and toxicity, has evolved over this time. The strong association of the major histocompatibility class I allele HLA-B*5701 and abacavir hypersensitivity, and its translation and use in routine HIV clinical practice as a predictive marker with 100% negative predictive value, has been a success story and a notable example of the challenges and triumphs in bringing pharmacogenetics to the clinic. In real clinical practice, however, it is going to be the exception rather than the rule that individual biomarkers will definitively guide patient therapy. The need for individualized approaches to ART has been further increased by the importance of non-AIDS comorbidities in HIV clinical practice. In the future, the ideal utilization of the individualized approach to ART will likely consist of a combined approach using a combination of knowledge of drug, virus, and host (pharmacogenetic and pharmacoecologic [factors in the individual's environment that may be dynamic over time]) information to guide the truly personalized prescription. This review will focus on our knowledge of the pharmacogenetics of the efficacy and toxicity of currently available antiretroviral agents and the current and potential utility of such information and approaches in present and future HIV clinical care.

Keywords: HIV, pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics, personalized medicine, antiretroviral

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