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Executive Summary

COMPOUND Q RAISES MEAN CD4 CELL COUNT FROM 190 TO 270 after 116 days of treatment with the Chinese cucumber derivative trichosanthin, according to results on an ongoing community clinic trial on 46 patients. Project Inform Executive Director Martin Delaney reported the results June 22 at the Sixth International Conference on AIDS in San Francisco. The data shows that, on average, patients taking Compound Q and "low dose of AZT" showed "CD4 cells rising at the rate of .67 cells per day" while prior to treatment they were "experiencing a mean loss of .35 CD4 cells per day," Delaney said. The cohort of 46 patients has been followed an average of 116 days since beginning treatment. Delaney told reporters that the mean CD4 count of the cohort group was 190 at baseline and rose to a mean of 270 after 116 days. After an additional 60 days, the trends continued. Eight patients continued the rate of decline observed at 116 days, while the CD4 count in the 38 others flattened out of the curve or increased in slope. The dose used in the study was 16 micrograms per kilogram of body weight given once a month. Delaney said pharmacokinetic data suggests this is a "barely effective dose." Patients received a mean treatment of six doses to 20 doses. In a press release on his presentation, Delaney acknowledged that the Compound Q trial data "cannot be considered conclusive." However, he said, it should not be "dismiss[ed] it is difficult to explain [the findings] by any means other than a treatment effect." New England Journal of Medicine editor Arthur Relman criticized Delaney as being "irresponsible" at a press conference following the session.

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