A woman is cured of HIV after a stem cell transplant

An American patient with leukemia has become the first womanand the third person to date, to be cured of HIV after receiving a stem cell transplant. This case is also the first in which the umbilical cord blood.

According to the scientists, using this blood does not require the same level of compatibility between the donor and the recipient that is required in the case of adult cells, which may make this type of treatment benefit more people.

The donor was naturally resistant to the virus that causes AIDSas announced by the researchers this Tuesday at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Denver, USA.

The case is part of a larger US-backed study led by Dr. Yvonne Bryson of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Your goal is to follow 25 people with HIV undergoing a transplant of stem cells taken from umbilical cord blood for the treatment of cancer and other serious diseases.

He has been in remission for 14 months and free of the virus

Since receiving the transplant to treat her acute myeloid leukemia, the woman has been in remission and free of the virus for 14 months. In all this time, he has not needed antiretroviral therapy against HIV.

Also, the so-called “New York Patient”to maintain your anonymity, is a mixed race womansomething to which the researchers attach great importance, since the genetic mutation that makes someone resistant to the virus usually occurs in white people, which until now has made it difficult to find compatible donors for people of other races.

“This is now the third report of a cure and the first in a woman with HIV,” the president of the International AIDS Society (IAS) announced in The New York Times, Sharon Lewis. Both of the above cases occurred in men who had received adult stem cells, most often used in bone marrow transplants.

The strategy is unfeasible for most

Lewin has explained, in statements collected by IAS, that bone marrow transplants are not a viable strategy to treat most people with HIV.

Experts have warned that the cure through stem cell transplants remains for now limited to cases in which the patient suffers from cancer or another serious illness that justifies a very complex and potentially fatal procedure.

A strategy only feasible for a handful of the millions of people

As stated on the channel NBC Johns Hopkins University specialist Deborah Persaud stem cell therapy “it remains a feasible strategy for only a handful of the millions of people living with HIV”.

However, the report “confirms that a cure is possible and further strengthens the use of gene therapy as a strategy,” said Lewin.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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