Published: Fri, March 08, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Second person cured of HIV in major medical breakthrough

Second person cured of HIV in major medical breakthrough

The procedure took place nearly three years ago. He was treated with anti-retroviral drugs until about 18 months ago. Indeed, 16 months later, his virus remains at below detectable levels, and his immune cells all contain the HIV-fighting CCR5 mutation.

"CCR5 is something essential for the virus to complete its life-cycle and we can't knock out many other things without causing harm to the patient", said Gupta. "We can't detect anything", Ravindra Gupta, the doctor who co-lead the man's treatment team, told Reuters.

The patient's name, nationality or age is not public. The London patient has been free of the virus for a substantial amount of time, he acknowledges, but at this point, "it's still possible for the virus to come back". Even so, the announcement, published today in the journal Nature, represents a long-awaited advance, in part by reaffirming that a similar case reported 12 years prior "wasn't a one-off", Sharon Lewin, who heads the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, Australia and was not involved in the study, told Jon Cohen at Science. Both men experienced a similar treatment.

The London Patient has chosen to remain anonymous.

But experts warn that a cure has not been found. The blood treatments the Berlin and London patients had have failed in other patients. The treatments are also too unsafe, expensive and risky to do for the large number of people who already have the virus that causes AIDS.

Close to 37 million people are living with HIV worldwide, but only 59 per cent are receiving ARV, and drug-resistant HIV is a growing concern.

The case is the only the second reported example of an adult apparently becoming free of HIV infection. In addition to chemotherapy, he underwent a haematopoietic stem cell transplant from a donor with two copies of the CCR5 allele in 2016.

Malaysian PM now in PH for two-day official visit
Malaysia is the third-party facilitator for the government's peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Reported by BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

Normal operations restored at NKorean launch site
John Bolton, Mr Trump's national security adviser, said yesterday that it was too soon to act on the... Kim Jong-un was the first North Korean leader to visit Vietnam in the last 55 years.

What We Learned from Part 2 of R. Kelly’s Interview
The accuser, who is now 30 years old, also said that she and Kelly again had sex a few weeks later in a Detroit recording studio. That's why most defence attorneys urge clients to keep quiet. "So when I met him, he thought that I was 18", she said.

In the transplant, a healthy donor provides extremely small pieces of his or her body that can create new blood. A patient with lymphoma had his blood stem cells eliminated using radiation, then received stem cells from someone with the appropriate mutation.

Gupta and his team emphasised that bone marrow transplant - a risky and painful procedure - is not a viable option for HIV treatment. While Brown had intensive chemotherapy and irradiation to prep for the transplant, the London patient had low intensity conditioning and no irradiation, and the Düsseldorf patient received myeloablative conditioning but no irradiation. He waited about nine years after being diagnosed with HIV to start anti-HIV drug therapy.

More than 20 years after scientists announced that we had the medical resources to treat HIV effectively, around 40 percent of people living with HIV globally are still unable to access this life-saving treatment.

This is the second time a person has been cleared of HIV following a bone marrow transplant from a donor with this genetic mutation.

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

The researchers say the latest findings show that Brown's case was not a one off, and that there are ways to target the CCR5 receptor to treat HIV. The Times explained that CCR5 "rests on the surface of certain immune cells".

Like this: