Writing in Blood, a group says that a 2007 adult stem cell transplant cured a patient of both his HIV and his leukemia. Up to 33 million people worldwide have HIV/AIDS.
How did it work and what does it mean? It was a perfect storm of good fortune for the patient so it's an interesting medical starting point but not really a cure-all just yet. Timothy Brown, an HIV-positive man in Germany, also had leukemia and was undergoing chemotherapy but he got a bone marrow transplant from a donor who carried an inherited CCR5 gene mutation that seems to make carriers immune to HIV.
It was a risky move but it worked and the adult stem cell procedure worked - Brown has been without the leukemia or the HIV since, the new analysis shows. It's the first case of HIV being cured, even if the circumstances are difficult to replicate because a donor not only has to be compatible, they have to have the mutation.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is kind of a wet blanket about it regardless. “This patient is trading one poison for another. He may not have to be on antiretroviral drugs anymore, but he has to take immunosuppressant drugs now to prevent the rejection of his transplant cells. Again, what this is, is an interesting proof of concept, but it’s absolutely impractical,” he told Fox News.
Well, much of science is impractical in the beginning. As is much of technology in general. The entire idea of basic research is that impractical ideas lead to breakthroughs which lead to test cases and proof of concept and then applications. It seems odd that the person representing epidemiology for the US is telling people not to be happy someone got cured of HIV, since that is why the government has spent billions on research.
Citation: Kristina Allers, Gero Hütter, Jörg Hofmann, Christoph Loddenkemper, Kathrin Rieger, Eckhard Thiel, and Thomas Schneider, 'Evidence for the cure of HIV infection by CCR532/32 stem cell transplantation', Blood First Edition Paper, prepublished online December 8, 2010 DOI 10.1182/blood-2010-09-309591
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Wait, Let's Not Rush To Be Multiplanetary Or Interstellar - A Comment On Elon Musk's Vision
- Bizarre Forelimb Evolution In Ancient Drepanosaurus Fossil
- Ground Squirrels Use The Sun To Hide Food
- Paleo: In A Clinical Trial, Bread Made With Ancient Grains Could Benefit Heart Health
- Study Explains Mechanisms Behind Glioblastoma Influence On The Immune System
- A Book By Guido Tonelli
- 42 Million Years: Central Asia Is Used To Westerly Winds By Now
- "Fantastic article! One thought on the Kardashev scale though, it ignores energy efficiency. It..."
- "So, Irish-catholic ghettos in Belfast in 60ies through 80ies would be a perfect historical example..."
- "Why to fear of nibiru when we know that we all have to die someday Live Big not Long..."
- "Nice piece of information about nibiru i am starting to feel feared..."
- "Right, good thoughts :). On replicators, yes if a species can make robust self replicating spaceships..."
- San Francisco Soda Tax: A Feel-Good Policy Based on Junk Science
- Watson and Crick did not discover DNA
- Is Parenting Kids of Human and Canine Persuasion the Same? Yes!
- Diabetes: MiniMed 670G Hybrid Closed-Loop Insulin System Is A Waypoint To An Artificial Pancreas
- Celebrate Oktoberfest with Beer Chemistry
- Littlest Consumers Doing Well, Nutrition-wise
- 51 U.S. House Members Urges DEA To Delay "Hasty" Ban On Natural Herbal Supplement Kratom
- Women are a quarter of the 1 percent
- Wetlands and agriculture, not fossil fuels, behind the global rise in methane
- Mass immigration is correlated to higher levels of crime, but not causal
- How would you like a kitchen surface that cleans itself?