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HIV patient said to be cured of HIV after stem cell transplant

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Bob, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Bob

    Bob

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    An HIV patient is said to be (almost?) cured of HIV infection after a bone marrow transplant of stem cells from a donor with a natural mutation to the CCR5 gene.

    The Independent
    The proof that Aids can be cured?

    The 'Berlin Patient', who was once HIV positive, has been in the clear for five years after revolutionary therapy. And the woman who discovered the virus believes his story offers hope to millions.
    Thursday 19 July 2012
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-proof-that-aids-can-be-cured-7957151.html


    Interestingly, he had his immune system (i.e. the immune cells) destroyed by irradiation, in order to have the transplant.
    This made me think of Rituximab which destroys B cells.
    But no association has been made between that process and the cure.

    The article also mentions that HIV is thought to lie dormant in white blood cells for years.
    This also made me think of Rituximab, as one theory re Rituximab is that the destruction of the B cells destroys a virus that has infected the B cells.

    The effect of the CCR5 gene mutation, is to stop HIV from infecting white blood cells. (It doesn't say which type of white blood cell.)
     
  2. currer

    currer Senior Member

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    Very interesting thank you for posting this Bob. The B cells seem to act as an infection site and tissue reservoir for certain diseases that target the immune system I was thinking about this with regard to another post I came across a little while ago - unfortunately I cant remember offhand which news item it was I'll put up a link if it comes back to me.
    Fluge and Mella do not seem to think that the B cells are infected in ME because of the timing of the improvement following rituximab - but who knows? So little is known yet about why ritux causes this improvement/
     
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  3. Bob

    Bob

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  4. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 Senior Member

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