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The Littlest Homo

Bone marrow 'cures Aids patient'

From BBC News

Quote:
Doctors in Germany say a patient appears to have been cured of Aids by a bone marrow transplant from a donor who had a genetic resistance to HIV.

The researchers in Berlin said the man, who suffered from leukaemia and Aids, had shown no sign of either disease since the transplant two years ago.

The result is expected to encourage further interest in gene therapy as a treatment for Aids.

So far all efforts to find a cure have been unsuccessful.

Berlin's Charite hospital said the 42-year-old patient was an American living in Berlin who has not been identified.

He had been infected with the human immunodeficiency virus that causes Aids for more than a decade and also had leukaemia.

The clinic said since the transplant, tests on his bone marrow, blood and other organ tissues have all been clean.

"More than 20 months after the successful transplant, no HIV can be detected in the patient," the clinic said in a statement.

But leading HIV researcher, Dr Andrew Badley, of the Mayo Clinic in the American state of Minnesota, has warned a lot more tests are needed to prove the man is clear of HIV.

Roughly one in 1,000 Europeans and Americans have an inherited genetic mutation, which prevents HIV from attaching itself to cells.

Two million people die of Aids every year and the virus is estimated to have infected 33 million people worldwide.


Some positive news. Lets hope this is the way forward!
Lexilogio

That's fantastic news! A real breakthrough!

Of course, there will need to be a number of experimental tests to try to establish if it was a one off, or to what extent it works. We will need to establish if this is a permenant cure, or a really good remission period.

The cure won't be easy of course - bone marrow transplants are very intensive, expensive, and carry a huge risk of infection. It wouldn't be available to everyone for a while - and there will be a problem about all the people in Africa who won't be able to access this.

That issue - the issue of African sufferers being effectively abandoned, won't go away for a while.

Sorry, I'm sounding a bit negative there, but it is a great step forward.
The Littlest Homo

Lexilogio wrote:

Sorry, I'm sounding a bit negative there, but it is a great step forward.


I don't think you are being negative, more realistic.

Lets hope its more permanent and becomes available to all, if successful.
Shaft2101

Wonderful news poetentially! Let's hope that the further, more rigorous, analysis shows the claims to be true :)

As Lexi says, invariably this doesn't mean we can "Heal The World!" straight off the bat, but at least we're on the essential first rung of the ladder.
foolfodder

The opinions of an HIV researcher: http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2008/11/bonemarrow_transplants_as_a_cu.php and http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2008/11/pimpedup_soupedup_bionic_assas.php
Shaker

Bloody hell  :shock:
Lexilogio

He's basically saying it's too early to count our chickens, but it does give us a fruitful line of enquiry.
shayanjameel08

German doctors say a patient appears to have been cured of HIV by a bone marrow transplant from an HIV resistant donor.
Lexilogio

shayanjameel08 wrote:
German doctors say a patient appears to have been cured of HIV by a bone marrow transplant from an HIV resistant donor.


That is what the OP states.

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