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A Doctor, a Mutation and a Potential Cure for AIDS

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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 06:06 AM
Original message
A Doctor, a Mutation and a Potential Cure for AIDS
A Bone Marrow Transplant to Treat a Leukemia Patient Also Gives Him Virus-Resistant Cells; Many Thanks, Sample 61
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122602394113507555.html...

The startling case of an AIDS patient who underwent a bone marrow transplant to treat leukemia is stirring new hope that gene-therapy strategies on the far edges of AIDS research might someday cure the disease.

The patient, a 42-year-old American living in Berlin, is still recovering from his leukemia therapy, but he appears to have won his battle with AIDS. Doctors have not been able to detect the virus in his blood for more than 600 days, despite his having ceased all conventional AIDS medication. Normally when a patient stops taking AIDS drugs, the virus stampedes through the body within weeks, or days.

Dr. Gero Htter isn't an AIDS specialist, but he 'functionally cured' a patient, who shows no sign of the disease.

"I was very surprised," said the doctor, Gero Htter.

The breakthrough appears to be that Dr. Htter, a soft-spoken hematologist who isn't an AIDS specialist, deliberately replaced the patient's bone marrow cells with those from a donor who has a naturally occurring genetic mutation that renders his cells immune to almost all strains of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

The development suggests a potential new therapeutic avenue and comes as the search for a cure has adopted new urgency. Many fear that current AIDS drugs aren't sustainable. Known as antiretrovirals, the medications prevent the virus from replicating but must be taken every day for life and are expensive for poor countries where the disease runs rampant. Last year, AIDS killed two million people; 2.7 million more contracted the virus, so treatment costs will keep ballooning.
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Lochloosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 06:08 AM
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1. Kick for a cure.
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 06:19 AM
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2. Interesting
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Heidi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 06:47 AM
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3. Kick. This is fascinating!
:kick:
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LeftHander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 07:08 AM
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4. Remeber a story on Nova about a actor in Hollywood with this
Immunity...all his friends died and he never got HIV...

They found he had some immunity. The actor is recognizable character actor.

Can't remember his name. But I faintly recall that a marrow transplant being discussed as a potential therapy...
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 06:03 PM
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5. They need to be making a synthetic of this mutation
that some people seem to have.

I recall them finding carriers in Africa whom never became ill from HIV because of this mutation. Is it a natural evolution of our blood cells against this virus?? hmmmm...
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Johonny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-13-08 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. I think that's impossible
I believe the mutation effects the way the cells constructed the cell pathway that the HiV virus uses to enter the cell. Sans replacing all your cells there's nothing to do. Although with cloning and stem cell research...
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-13-08 06:17 PM
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9. "Although with cloning and stem cell research..."
and what has President-Elect said about stem cell research...
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nilram Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-13-08 12:47 AM
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6. holy effing wow! k&r. wow.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-13-08 05:51 PM
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7. kick for a cure
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 05:26 AM
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10. Kick..nt
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 06:21 PM
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11. Kick..nt
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