Two patients HIV-free after therapy

Two patients HIV-free after therapy / Health News

Bone marrow transplant successful against AIDS


Two US HIV patients have no detectable AIDS pathogens in their blood after bone marrow transplantation. But that does not mean that they are healed.

Bone marrow transplantation in cancer patients
After two HIV patients have received a bone marrow transplant, they can no longer be detected in the blood with AIDS. As US physicians from Boston reported at the International AIDS Conference in Kuala Lumpur, one of the men since seven and the other has not taken any HIV medication for 15 weeks. Timothy Henrich from Brigham and Women's Hospital explained: „Although these results are exciting, they do not mean that the men are healed.“ To see what the therapy really did, you have to wait at least another year. Among other things in the brain or in the digestive tract could still be a virus. The transplants in the two men who were suffering from lymphoma, are two or five years back, but the HIV drugs were discontinued only a few weeks ago. A third patient, who had also been treated, died as a result of his cancer.

Fall in Berlin caused a worldwide sensation
In 2008, a patient from Berlin caused a worldwide sensation. In his case, the number of HI viruses had also fallen below the detection limit following a bone marrow transplantation. The bone marrow donation had been carried out as part of a blood cancer therapy. Even then, doctors did not want to talk about a cure. Gero Hütter, who was working at the University of Heidelberg today, explained that bone marrow transplants are not a general therapy option against AIDS. Transplants are associated with too high a risk, as the immune system of the recipient is deliberately weakened. The doctors had therefore used both in Boston and in Berlin, the treatment only in the case of very seriously ill cancer patients.

Healed patient founds HIV foundation
Hütter pointed out a difference in the case at the time: „Compared to the two patients from Boston, the Berlin patient has been examined much more intensively, and a lasting cure of HIV is now considered to be safe.“ With his involvement, this was confirmed by a research team in a study using the online journal „PLOS pathogens“ published in May. „The Berlin patient is doing very well, he has been living in the USA for a good three years now and has since set up his own HIV foundation. "Hütter says that the new cases are over mainly because similar cases have failed in the past Boston interesting, what contributed to the success, was not yet clear. „In the case of the Berlin patient it was certainly the special donor selection, but this was not done with these two patients from Boston. "

Therapy with infected baby
In March, the case of a newborn in the United States caused a great stir. Deborah Persaud from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore, Maryland, reported that a newborn who had HIV infection in his mother was on antiretroviral therapy. The doctors started a combination therapy with three drugs 30 hours after birth and on the 29th day no more pathogens could be detected with standard tests. The scientists assume that the viruses by the rapid treatment no „silent reserve“ and that the child is practically cured.

Five years to healing
The first time people spoke of a cure for the HIV virus was in 2007, when American Timothy Ray Brown underwent stem cell transplantation for leukemia. He was given the cells of a donor with a rare gene mutation, which increase the resistance to the HI virus. Two years after transplantation, German doctors told Brown that he had been cured of the HI virus. Although successful, the procedure was too complex to be applied to all patients. The Munich internist Hans Jäger estimates, however, that the immune deficiency disease will soon be curable. Five years are according to the expert „a realistic period in which we can heal.“ (Ad)

Image: Andreas Dengs,