Health Care

Advances in stem cell treatment give hope to millions with 'incurable' diseases

Advances in stem cell treatment give hope to millions with 'incurable' diseases”

Timothy Brown, an American man, was known as "the Berlin patient" when he also received a bone marrow transplant for leukemia treatment in Germany 12 years ago.

The details: The patient received a stem cell transplant from a donor with a rare genetic mutation that makes them HIV-resistant.

Choosing to describe the patient as "functionally cured", he said, "there is no virus there that we can measure".

"The so-called London Patient has now been off ART for 19 months with no viral rebound which is impressive, but I would still be closely monitoring his viral load", Sharon Lewin, IAS Governing Council Member and Co-Chair of the Towards an HIV Cure initiative, said. "This is likely to be many years away and until then, the emphasis needs to remain on prompt diagnosis of HIV and initiation of life-long combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). cART is highly effective both in restoring near normal life expectancy and preventing onward transmission to others".

A second person has experienced sustained remission from HIV-1, according to a case study to be published Tuesday in the journal Nature.

"This second documented case does reinforce the message that HIV cures are possible", says infection and immunity researcher Anthony Kelleher from UNSW in Australia, who wasn't involved with the study.

Following his bone marrow transplant, the London Patient also got two copies of the CCR5 receptor.

Ten years after the first confirmed case of an HIV-infected person being rid of the deadly disease, a man known only as the "London patient" has shown no sign of the virus for almost 19 months, they reported in the journal Nature.

A patient in London has reportedly been cured of HIV.

The patient from London has not been named, and was first diagnosed with HIV in 2003, as well as advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2012.

Three months after his first treatment, the HIV in his body dropped dramatically and he was soon listed as undetectable.

Possibly. The London patient's immune system is now created to block HIV's most common path into cells, using the CCR5 receptor.

Dr. Gero Hutter, the German doctor who treated Brown, called the new case "great news" and "one piece in the HIV cure puzzle".

Specialists said it was not yet clear whether the CCR5 resistance is the only key - or whether the graft-versus-host disease may have been just as important.

Though the experts are excited with results, they remained conservative about the current capabilities of replicating the "cure" since tens of millions of people affected by HIV worldwide. Her group has been working on a way to mutate the CCR5 gene directly in the bone marrow of a person to simulate the effect of the transplants.

Mr Brown hopes that the London patient's cure proves as durable as his own, NYT reported.

Professor Eduardo Olavarria from Imperial College London, who worked on the case, noted that the success of stem cell transplantation offers "hope in the search for a long-awaited cure for HIV/Aids".

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