Stem Cell Transplant Procedure

10 Years After Stem Cell Transplant Procedure, German Man Remains Free Of HIV

New hope is emerging for HIV sufferers – the patient in question has been entirely cured of the virus! What was once thought impossible may now provide hope for millions suffering from this life-altering condition.

A medical breakthrough has been achieved, providing hope to many: a man with cancer cured of HIV after receiving stem cell therapy! A rare and exciting discovery that offers the possibility of relief from two life-altering diseases.

No Evidence Of HIV

The patient was HIV-positive when he was given a stem transplant to treat his cancer. This procedure includes giving him a new immune system from a donor with a rare gene mutation that makes his body cells resistant to HIV.

A decade ago, a patient was diagnosed with HIV, but now researchers confidently say that the virus is gone from his body. This astounding result means we might be closer to finding an actual cure for this disease. 

Dr. Björn Jensen of Dusseldorf University Hospital in Germany explains that despite using extremely detailed analysis and tests, they have found no trace of the virus.

Added To HIV-Cure Storybook

A new “Dusseldorf patient” has been added to the HIV-cure storybook-15 years after Timothy Ray Brown became known as the first, or “Berlin.” The patient whose infection was cleared of the virus by a stem cell transplant in 2007. Another team reported what they believed to be a second such cure – the ‘London Patient.’ 

Adam Castillejo made himself public last year, and now it’s time for Dusseldorf Patient 3! Each carries with them hope that one day an effective method can eradicate this disease from our lives forever.

All these patients needed a stem cell transplant after trying every other treatment option to fight the blood cancer. But there was another possibility: a cure for HIV!

The doctors found the donors whose stem cells had a rare feature- two copies of a particular mutation in their genes called CCR5. This gene can resist the receptors most HIV strains use to infect the cells. 

The Düsseldorf patient’s blood levels of “proviral” HIV were undetectable after his transplant, which was performed in February 2013. He decided to stop taking his HIV meds in November 2018 to see if there would be a viral rebound.

According to research by Jensen’s team in the Nature Medicine edition of February 20, there has been no such rebound more than four years later.

New Options To Fight HIV

In this remarkable case, stem cell transplants may have been a game-changer in curing HIV. Dr. Margolis suggests that these treatments could open up new options to combat the virus and might prove more effective than current therapies targeting CCR5. 

While there is still much unknown about how the transplants worked and what wiped out the HIV exactly, it seems likely that high-dose chemotherapy had some role to play.

In addition, several of the five patients have developed graft-versus-host disease after their transplant. This means the new immune system saw the body as foreign and attacked. It might be possible this has a role in wiping out HIV


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