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Wed Jul 3, 2013, 07:33 PM

Stem Cell Transplants Clear HIV in Two Patients in Study

Source: Bloomberg

Stem Cell Transplants Clear HIV in Two Patients in Study

By Simeon Bennett
July 03, 2013 12:07 PM EDT 3 Comments

Two cancer patients in Boston who were also infected with HIV have no trace of the virus after receiving stem-cell transplants, suggesting they may have been cured of the AIDS-causing infection.

The two patients, treated at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, stopped HIV treatment after the transplants, which in other patients has opened the door for the virus to come roaring back. In one patient there was no sign of the virus 15 weeks after stopping treatment, while the other has gone seven weeks without HIV rebounding, according to results presented today at the International AIDS Society’s meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

The researchers led by Timothy Henrich of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital said it’s too early to conclude the two men have been cured and the virus may be lingering in their brains or gut. Still, their cases are similar to that of Timothy Brown, the so-called Berlin patient, who was the first person to be cured of HIV after getting a bone marrow transplant for leukemia in 2007.

“While stem-cell transplantation is not a viable option for people with HIV on a broad scale because of its costs and complexity, these new cases could lead us to new approaches to treating, and ultimately even eradicating, HIV,” Kevin Robert Frost, the chief executive officer of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, which funded the study, said in a statement.

Read more: http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-03/stem-cell-transplants-clear-hiv-in-two-patients-in-study.html

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 07:37 PM

1. Praise Science! Hallelujah!

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 07:39 PM

2. 15 weeks is really promising. While this isn't a viable option for the majority of PWA's,

it's another advance in the puzzle HIV presents for treatment and prevention.

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Response to pinto (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 07:57 PM

6. And hopefully direct research in directions that could eventually lead to a viable cure....

Any step forward is good news.

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Response to Rowdyboy (Reply #6)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 10:43 PM

8. Yeah

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 07:46 PM

3. wow...

how interesting.

Let's hope that there is indeed something to this...it certainly would be a miracle.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 07:46 PM

4. I remember in the early 2000s conservatives were going ape shit about stem cells.

Biggest argument we can't play God. Uhhh... if it means saving lives play whoever the hell you want to.

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Response to Lobo27 (Reply #4)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 07:48 PM

5. Doctors always play God. So no change.

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Response to Lobo27 (Reply #4)

Thu Jul 4, 2013, 02:27 PM

12. Few said squat about adult stem cells.

In fact, that was all the rage on the political Right in the US. Human embryonic stem cells, on the other hand, were condemned.

The more vocal ones caught on to the different early on because it was important to them.

A lot of others sort of glossed over the difference because, well, effacing the difference was important to them. Or they couldn't wrap their minds around the difference.

These are almost certainly adult stem cell transplants. Probably very similar to the bone-marrow transplant that they modelled the therapy on. No fetuses or anything-blasts were involved in the process.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 08:00 PM

7. That's great news for the wealthy.

For the bulk of Americans surviving with AIDS, not so much.

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Response to NorthCarolina (Reply #7)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 10:53 PM

9. It's not just the cost, stem cell transplants are complicated procedures. As amfAR noted -

"these new cases could lead us to new approaches to treating, and ultimately even eradicating, HIV"

I won't discount this on limited availability or cost. It's only a few recent cases. The long term is the goal. This may be a step toward that.



(ed for spell)

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Response to NorthCarolina (Reply #7)

Thu Jul 4, 2013, 07:08 AM

11. not practical for most people

bone marrow transplants are not only expensive, they are risky and painful. this is good for advancing science but not a choice that most people would make. The answer in the long run will be finding a way to get the natural immune system to recognize HIV in all its hiding places and eradicate it.

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Response to NorthCarolina (Reply #7)

Thu Jul 4, 2013, 08:39 PM

13. New stuff is expensive at first, so let's never try anything. (nt)

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 11:42 PM

10. So much for the GOPee's 30-year assertion that AIDS was heaven sent.

Dumb fuckers.

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