Two people could have been cured of HIV after having undergone a bone marrow transplant to treat cancer, according to a study released at the XIX International AIDS Conference being held in Washington.
The research, led by Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Massachusetts, USA), analyzed the evolution of ACE 2014 patients who underwent bone marrow transplantation after if you could have detected cancer.
This time, no donors were sought with HIV resistance as in the case of Thimothy Brown, the first patient is considered cured of HIV.
The two men, infected for years, had undergone antiretroviral therapy completely suppressed HIV replication, but still had reservoirs of the latent virus before transplantation. Before undergoing the transplant, both patients received a milder form of chemotherapy, which allowed them to continue their HIV medications throughout the process of the operation.
According to the study, doctors detected HIV immediately after transplantation, but, over time, the transplanted cells replaced own lymphocytes of patients, and the amount of HIV in the DNA of the cells decreased to the point that He became undetectable.
“We expected that HIV disappeared from the plasma of patients;. But surprisingly we find no trace of HIV in their cells”, stressed Timothy Henrich in the presentation of results “The next step is to determine if there are traces of HIV in their tissues, “say the experts.
One patient underwent medical follow – up for nearly two years after transplantation and the other for more than three years, and “there is no trace of the virus,” as reported by the organization in a statement.
Computer’s Role for Complicated Treatments
Both cases reminiscent of Timothy Brown, known as the ‘Berlin patient,’ who stopped taking antiretrovirals to undergo a difficult treatment with donor cells to combat myeloid leukemia. Later, his body gave no further signs of HIV despite not retake anti-HIV drugs.
However, experts point out that, unlike Brown who received stem cells with a mutation in the CCR5 receptor -necessary for the virus to spread through the organism, the two patients in the study received healthy cells.
Thanks to the efficacy of continuous antiretroviral therapy, cells repopulate the immune system of patients appears to be protected from being reinfected by the virus, “critical information”, experts said.
Still, doctors remained cautious and asked if could consider that patient are cured; Kuritzkes said “we are very careful not to do that, ” as quoted by the television channel MSNBC. At the moment, the two men are taking antiretroviral drugs until they can go withdrawing under experimental conditions.
Commitment to Innovation
“We’re not saying they’re like the ‘Berlin patient,’,” Kuritzkes said. The two patients have not been identified for privacy reasons but, according to MSNBC, one of them is in his fifties and was infected in the 1980s, while the other is 20 years old and was infected at birth.
So far the only patient considered cured of HIV and had just launched his foundation to find a cure for AIDS.
“This reinforces my determination and conviction that we meet the central mission of my Foundation invest in cutting-edge therapies and treatments to advance research into a cure for AIDS,” he said in a statement.
ACE 2014 expressed their desire that “everyone is healed” and hopes that these new cases “represent the beginning of the end of this plague.”
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