Bone Marrow Transplants Rid Two Men of HIV
July 3, 2013 1:04 PM
comment(s) - last by
But they're not calling it a cure quite yet
HIV patients have new
hope for a cure
as two men recently became HIV-free with bone marrow transplants.
Doctors at the
Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Centre
in Boston performed bone marrow transplants on two men with HIV, and neither have had to use Aids drugs for extended periods of time since the operations.
One of the men has had HIV since he was a baby while the other became infected years ago. Both men received bone marrow transplants in Boston, where their cells were replaced by those of the donors.
Doctors have been checking the men regularly for signs of HIV
in both blood cells
and tissue, and the virus has fallen to an undetectable level in both men.
What's more is that one
stopped taking antiretroviral medication
four months ago while the other quit seven weeks ago. Still no sign of the virus.
However, Timothy Henrich -- from the division of infectious diseases at Brigham -- said not to celebrate a cure quite yet. While the virus isn't detectable in blood or tissue, it could be hiding in other places like organs and reappear later.
Even if the virus doesn't reappear, bone marrow transplants are not something to be taken lightly. There is a 15-20 percent mortality rate and patients must take immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of their lives (which prevent the immune system from performing normal duties, such as fighting off infections).
"While these results are exciting, they do not yet indicate that the men have been cured," said Henrich. "Long-term follow up of at least one year will be required to understand the full impact of a bone marow transplant on HIV persistence."
Nevertheless, this is a great finding that could lead to a better understanding of the virus, better treatments and eventually (hopefully) a cure.
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RE: Some cure...
7/5/2013 1:36:26 PM
On the plus side, they can have unprotected sex and children again without the risk of spreading the disease.
RE: Some cure...
7/6/2013 5:23:23 AM
I was diagnosed with A.L.L leukemia in 2004 and i was 19, I had 6 months of various drugs & chemotherapy and then 6 months of Chemotherapy and radiation therapy to kill off my bone marrow to prepare me for a bone marrow transplant, my brother and sister were both matching bone marrow donors, they went with my brother as the donor, I had the worst reactions to the treatment they had seen.... it was rough, throughout the treatment i had several lumber punctures administer chemo into my spinal column and brain, L.P suck but worse were the bone marrow aspirates where they drill in to your thigh to take marrow samples to see if the treatment is working. My brother was o blood type and I was A, they feed his bone marrow to me through an i.v drip, I now have his bone marrow and took on his blood type as well and lost mine, It still amazes me what medical science can do and the fact that the bone marrow and blood i was born with is none existent anymore.. anyways I'm 100% now & I don't have to be on any drugs at all now. I'm now 28.
RE: Some cure...
7/9/2013 11:51:32 AM
Congrats man! You are the reason why everyone should become a prospective donor. Everyone typically thinks BMT's are for old people, or people that "deserved" it, but just as likely is a child or young adult that didn't "do" anything to need the transplant that could live a long and fruitful life if given the chance most of us take for granted every day.
www.bethematch.org people. Sign up, become a donor. It's free. You swab your mouth, no biopsies, no pain. Just swab your mouth and mail in the sample.
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