A man known as the “Düsseldorf patient” has become the third person to be cured of HIV after receiving a stem cell transplant, a study said Monday.
Two other cases of both HIV and cancer, patients from Berlin and London, were previously reported in scientific journals as being cured after the high-risk procedure.
Now the details of the treatment of the Düsseldorf patient have been revealed in the journal Nature Medicine.
The 53-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was diagnosed with HIV in 2008, then three years later with acute myeloid leukemia, a life-threatening form of blood cancer.
In 2013 he had a bone marrow transplant using stem cells from a female donor with a rare mutation in her CCR5 gene. The mutation has been found to prevent HIV from entering cells.
The Düsseldorf patient stopped antiretroviral therapy for HIV in 2018.
Four years later, repeated tests showed no sign of HIV returning in his body.
The study states that “this third case of cure for HIV-1” “provides valuable insights that will guide future treatment strategies”.
celebrate ‘at large’
The patient said in a statement that he was “proud of my worldwide team of doctors who were successful in curing HIV – and also, of course, leukemia”.
He said he celebrated the 10-year anniversary of his transplant “in a big way” on Valentine’s Day last week, adding that the donor was the “guest of honour”.
The recoveries of two more people with HIV and cancer, the so-called New York and City of Hope patients, were announced at separate scientific conferences last year, though research on those cases has yet to be published.
While a cure for HIV has long been sought, the bone marrow transplant involved in these cases is a serious and dangerous operation, making it suitable for a small number of patients with both HIV and blood cancer.
Finding a bone marrow donor with the rare CCR5 mutation can also be a major challenge.
One of the study’s co-authors, Asier Saez-Sirion of the Pasteur Institute in France, said that during the transplant, “the patient’s immune cells are completely replaced by the donor’s immune cells, which produce huge amounts of infected cells.” makes it possible for the majority to disappear”.
“It is an extraordinary situation when all the factors match for this transplant to be a successful treatment for both leukemia and HIV,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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