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Doctors Find Success Using Retooled HIV to Fight Leukemia

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by heapsreal, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    In April, Emma Brooke Whitehead’s leukemia seemed unbeatable.
    Emma, a 6-year-old from Phillipsburg, Pa., had been fighting the disease for nearly two years and doctors at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said there were no standard treatments left. So they took a gamble on a new, potentially groundbreaking treatment — using HIV.
    They removed millions of Emma’s disease-fighting white blood cells and used genetically altered HIV — a virus that easily gets into human immune systems — to turn Emma’s cells into a kind of immunological “directed missile,” specifically programmed to destroy the leukemia cells. The cells were then returned to Emma’s body.
    “All of the things that make the HIV virus able to cause disease have been removed from this particular virus whose only purpose is to put a gene into a cell,” said Dr. Stephan Grupp, a pediatric oncologist at CHOP who uses HIV to infiltrate the immune system. “There is no danger of infection and there is no longer the HIV virus.”
    Kari Whitehead, Emma’s mother, said that initially after the treatment Emma became very ill — she had a fever as high as 105 degrees — and doctors warned the family that she might not make it through the night.
    Grupp then gave the second grader a rheumatoid arthritis drug “off label.” In arthritis, the drug was meant to block a specific part of the body’s immune reaction, part caused by white blood cells called T cells. In Emma’s case, it blocked the side effect of the cancer treatment. In just 12 hours, she stabilized.
    “She was the first child in the world they tried it on and they told us they didn’t know what to expect,” Whitehead told ABC News. “They do feel now that the arthritis drug that they used will keep the kids in the future from getting any where close to that [sick].”
    Grupp says that Emma, now eight months past her treatment, is in complete remission.
    “She has no leukemia in her body for any test that we can do — even the most sensitive tests,” he said. “We need to see that the remission goes on for a couple of years before we think about whether she is cured or not. It is too soon to say.”
    He said that the treatment is being tried experimentally at two hospitals and was intended for childhood leukemia that has returned and no longer responds to chemotherapy. He said doctors hoped the T cell treatment would eventually replace bone marrow transplants.
    “This treatment was really her [Emma's] only chance,” Grupp said. “She has been treated with extended chemotherapy and she wasn’t getting any better. … For me, it’s incredible.”
    Whitehead said Emma, now 7, looked and felt “amazing” and had reunited with her dog Lucy.
    “There is a big difference,” she said. “She has a ton of energy. She’s back with her class. She was even able to play a little bit of soccer. So she’s doing wonderful right now.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/...success-using-retooled-hiv-to-fight-leukemia/
    Adster, SpecialK82, Enid and 2 others like this.
  2. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    When reading about how others disease are being treated now by doing things to the immune system like bcells and tcells, it makes me wonder if they had taken cfs/me alot more seriously in the 1980s that these treatments they are using now would have been available much earlier??

    There seems to be a lot of cross over between cancers/leukemia's, auto-immune illnesses, MS, immune defiencies etc that could benefits from each others knowledge, including cfs/me. There are people now with MS who are benefiting from antivirals. I know there is a possible link between MS, cfs and rheumatoid arthritis in reguards to NK function.

    cheers!!
    Waverunner, taniaaust1, Tito and 5 others like this.
  3. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    I agree Heaps - for me its not about what Wessley does or doesnt do/say, its the fact that he's stopped proper research into this illness, who knows where we would be now if it hadn't been for his utter dedication to getting ME/CFS under his psychiatric control. The above shows what brilliant scientists can do when faced with a clear road to treatment that hasn't been fudged by C*ap.
    taniaaust1, Enid, Merry and 2 others like this.
  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Totally agree, he will fall without any of our help, but i think him stopping research into cfs/me has stopped possible treatments for these other illness's as well as cfs/me that has cost many lives.
  5. HTree

    HTree

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    AMEN. I get too pissed off if I think about the wasted time. Fortunately, times are changing! These novel immune-modulations are fascinating... Just- inject me with re-programmed NK cells, please!
    Overstressed and heapsreal like this.
  6. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    it would be interesting if the treatment does increase nk function as not only are nk dysfunction found in us but nk function is important for killing caners etc
    Enid likes this.
  7. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    I wonder if sometimes these infection become too imbedded say in an organ etc and the immune system attacks it to kill the infection or the nervous system like in MS, then its classed as an auto-immune disease. I think the immune system kicks it up a notch to try and kill the infection? I think with chronic infections our immune system is producing alot of white blood cells too quickly and they are immature so dont function properly. Maybe rituximab reboots the immune system or its destroying the resevoir of infections in those white blood cells??
    Waverunner and HTree like this.
  8. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Maybe heapsreal, but the usual reason for immature cells is a high death rate. That also explains why we lose antibodies to common pathogens ... and don't seroconvert. I would be looking at causes of massive B cell death in us. One reason I say that is that loss of antibodies means loss of memory cells, and we don't usually lose those very quickly - unless you have ME or CFS.
    taniaaust1, HTree and heapsreal like this.
  9. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    It would be nice to get some more info from the norweigons, i would like to know if depleting b-cells affects nk cells and cd8 t-cells which they have found in the bond uni studies as being dysfunctional. Are nk and cd8 cells overworked because of this lack of antibodies from b-cells, therefore their function is lower due to a type of burnout or immature as they are over produced too quickly????
    I still havent read much alot of info on seeing if increasing nk function helps cfs/me?? I think that maybe how ampligen works, but its hit and miss with cfs/me too. lots of unanswered questions? as u can tell by all the ????lol
    taniaaust1 and alex3619 like this.
  10. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Questions are good heapsreal. The more we question, the more answers we might find. So ???? away.
  11. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Have u read anywhere that improving nk function helps cfs/me??
    Next question though is how to increase nk function??
    Ampligen is said to increase nk function but like already mentioned its hit and miss and relaposes are common once stopped. immunovir is used by klimas to increase nk function and general improvement is noted but no cure, but then i dont kinow if nk function is completely returned to normal on immunovir.
    Like u mention alex, maybe sorting the b-cells out, nk function will improve, maybe nk function is more a biomarker then something we need to go after and treat??
  12. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    We simply don't know. We need funding to go after each of these possibilities.

    While I do not know if improving NK function will help much, I also think that it can't hurt and might be a marker that shows other improvements.
  13. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    Glad you mention no seroconversion. No/low seroconversion for a normal pathogen was noticed in the animals after the still unkown infection hit.

    I still think Tcell failure is the cause of the B cells malfuction.
  14. HTree

    HTree

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    Certainly those of us with low NK cell function want to increase, to avoid cancer...Scares me to think how vulnerable I am with such low NK function--...Hmm And it's the cytokines that signal to all of these cells, tgat's the way all this immune manipulation happens, and that's how viruses/pathogens also can immunmodulate as well, no? Gosh it's all so interesting--- I just wish I weren't a guinea pig! I do have a biology degree but didn't go into the field, not my first love; but after all this, if i get better, perhaps i will!
  15. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Im hoping immunovir improves my nk's, i now cant get nk function testing but can get numbers tested, normally my numbers have been in the middle of the normal range, so u would think it would increase these numbers??
  16. Overstressed

    Overstressed Senior Member

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    HTree,

    I hope you'll get better, and live your dreams. I wish that for every single individual here and everywhere...

    Best wishes,
    OS.
  17. HTree

    HTree

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    Thank you OS. Goodness, I have such big big dreams and plans I got teary eyed just now, as I often do, imaging with such hope and anticipation that one day I will get well enough to begin them again. Whew. Such a powerful wish.

    Here's to all our dreams!
    lnester7 likes this.
  18. HTree

    HTree

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    heapsreal, that's a good question. I"m supposed to start Immunovir at some point too. I'm not sure if it raises actual NK cell numbers or just cytotoxicity (function). I'll try to ask in my next appt!
  19. Overstressed

    Overstressed Senior Member

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    Hi HTree,
    I hope you can one day live even more bigger dreams! Sometimes, one of the seldom moments when I'm not desperate, I try to imagine how I would feel when I could be healed... Honoustly, I think I would be so overwhelmed of emotions that I wouldn't survive.

    A cheers(from te bottom of my heart) to all your, and everybody's dreams!

    Best wishes,
    OS.
  20. lnester7

    lnester7 Seven

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    Imunovir raises NK cell Numbers and T cell (I am on it). I
    http://www.rivexpharma.com/products_imunovir.html
    Little Bluestem and heapsreal like this.

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