A groundbreaking system capable of predicting how individual patients with HIV and AIDS will respond to different drugs has been launched by RDI, a UK-based not-for-profit research group.
The HIV Treatment Response Prediction System (HIV-TRePS) uses complex computer models with data from tens of thousands of patients treated in hospitals around the world.
Physicians can access web-based system free of charge and enter their patient’s data to see how they will respond to hundreds of combinations of HIV drugs.
Julio Montaner, director of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV & AIDS in Canada, said that the system puts the experience gained from treating thousands of different patients at the doctor’s fingertips.
“This has the potential to improve outcomes for people living with HIV and AIDS around the world, particularly where resources and expertise are scarce,” Montaner said.
Physicians usually use a combination of three or more HIV drugs – out of approximately 25 – to suppress the virus.
Mutations virus’ genetic code, however, can cause drug resistance that could require a new combination of drugs to overcome.
The computational models within HIV-TRePS base their predictions on more than 80 variables, including mutations in the viral genetic code, drugs used to treat the patient in the past, CD4 cell counts and the amount of virus in the bloodstream.
The system’s overall accuracy during development and testing was approximately 80%.