Navigation Links
HIV Undetectable in 2 Men After Bone Marrow Transplants: Study
Date:7/27/2012

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Following bone marrow transplants, two men infected with HIV no longer have any traces of the AIDS-causing virus in their lymphocytes, researchers report.

Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell and are a key part of the immune system.

The U.S. researchers suspect that bone marrow transplantation along with continuation of antiretroviral therapy resulted in the dramatic effects evident eight months post-transplant. They are scheduled to present these preliminary findings Thursday at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C.

HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy often achieve "undetectable viral loads," meaning there are no virus particles in their blood. But they still have latent HIV in their lymphocytes, and if antiretroviral therapy were discontinued, the latent HIV could reactivate.

But having no traces of HIV in these white blood cells is an indication that this "reservoir" of latent HIV may have been eliminated, the researchers believe.

At this point, they are far from saying these patients are cured. But the findings are "exciting," said Dr. Savita Pahwa, director of the Center for AIDS Research at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, who was not involved with the study.

"Every hint you get that it's possible to wipe out the reservoir needs to be investigated," she said.

"Eliminating the reservoir is the key to the cure," said Pahwa. She also stressed that it would only be possible to say these patients were "functionally cured" if the virus did not rebound when the patients went off antiretroviral therapy.

The two men whose cases are described in the paper underwent chemotherapy for blood cancers before receiving stem cell transplants. One had his transplant two years ago; the other, four years ago. Both also developed graft-versus-host disease (when transplanted cells attack the host cells) and continued with their antiretroviral medications throughout and after the transplant procedures.

Any of these factors could theoretically explain their HIV-free status, but the bone marrow transplantation combined with antiretroviral therapy seems the most likely explanation, said the study authors.

"We believe the transplanted cells killed off and replaced all of the patients' own lymphocytes, including the infected cells, and the donor cells were protected from becoming infected themselves by the antiretroviral therapy they were taking throughout the transplant period," said study senior author Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, chief of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Graft-versus-host disease also probably played a role, he said. "The replacement of host cells by donor cells is itself a form of graft-versus-host reaction," Kuritzkes explained.

But the only way to verify that the transplant plus antiretroviral therapy can eradicate HIV is to take the patients off their medication regimens.

That would be the "next logical step," said Kuritzkes, adding that this would require patient consent and adherence to ethics protocols.

But even if the transplant procedure were found to eliminate the reservoir of latent HIV cells, bone marrow transplantation is a very risky procedure. Kuritzkes said he does not "foresee bone marrow transplantation being performed on otherwise healthy HIV-infected patients who are doing well on [antiretroviral therapy]."

Kuritzkes and his colleagues are continuing to enroll and follow HIV-positive patients who have undergone bone marrow transplants as part of a larger study.

This preliminary study contains echoes of the so-called "Berlin Patient," who has no detectable HIV cells in his blood five years after a stem cell transplant for leukemia.

Like the two men discussed in the current paper, the Berlin Patient -- Timothy Ray Brown of Seattle -- also had been diagnosed with HIV and also underwent chemotherapy (for acute myeloid leukemia) and developed graft-versus-host disease.

But, unlike the current patients, Brown received his stem cell transplant from a donor who had a rare genetic mutation that increases immunity against the most common form of HIV. He remained HIV-free after discontinuing antiretroviral therapy.

The two men described here received donor cells, which were "fully susceptible" to HIV, Kuritzkes said. This raises the possibility that a cure may be possible even when the donor does not have this gene mutation, he said.

Because this research has not been peer-reviewed and published in a medical journal, the data and conclusions should be considered preliminary.

More information

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on HIV/AIDS.

SOURCES: Daniel Kuritzkes, M.D., chief, infectious diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Savita Pahwa, M.D., professor of microbiology and immunology, and director, Center for AIDS Research, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; study abstract, July 26, 2012, International AIDS Conference, Washington, D.C.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Young girls more likely to report side effects after HPV vaccine
2. Experts Offer Advice After Yankee Pitchers Trampoline Injury
3. Breast cancer patients suffer treatment-related side effects long after completing care
4. Codeine After Surgery Could Endanger Certain Kids: Study
5. Drug May Prevent Pancreatitis After Digestive Procedure
6. Diagnostic yield of colonoscopy for melena after nondiagnostic upper endoscopy is lower than previously reported
7. After Hospitalization, Men More Likely to Show Up in ER
8. Men More Prone to Complications After Brain, Spine Surgery
9. Close Laundry Detergent Right After Use, Expert Says
10. Donor Kidney Re-Used in Second Patient After Failing in First
11. Guidelines say diet, exercise, weight control improve odds after cancer diagnosis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
HIV Undetectable in 2 Men After Bone Marrow Transplants: Study
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Viewers who like to ... critical historical facts, cultural practices, goods, services, and societal issues tend to appreciate and ... into the popular practice of utilizing running events for causes around the world. ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Judy ... Reiki™ Master in Frederick, MD. Judy says, “I am passionate about sharing Reiki ... often a very difficult and challenging time.” , A Certified Medical Reiki™ Master ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... ... and Harvest A Cultivation of Christian Love” is the creation of published author, David ... wife, Anna Marie. He and his wife are the proud parents of four grown ... “Shadow and Substance.” , “Love, the agape kind, is seen as more than an ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... In 2016 the World Health Organization declared the ... four million Zika-related cases in the Americas within the next year. Lyme disease is ... per year skyrocketing to an estimated 329,000. Yet, Zika, Lyme and other insect borne ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... Demonstrating their commitment ... more public health departments have been awarded national accreditation through the Public ... into the expanding network of communities across the nation whose health departments meet ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 A ReportsnReports.com report says, over ... rapidly as the global sales of Adcetris and Kadcyla have been ... antibody drug conjugates market is driven by large number of ADC ... therapeutic window offered by ADCs. ... Browse 3 Tables and 94 Figures, 10 Major Company ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... SAN DIEGO , March 24, 2017  GenomeDx ... (Genomics Resource Information Database) and Decipher® Prostate Cancer Classifier ... Annual European Association of Urology (EAU) Congress held March ... . The Annual EAU Congress is ... and most comprehensive research in the urological field. ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... KNOXVILLE, Tenn. , March 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... ("Provectus" or the "Company"), a clinical-stage oncology and ... previously announced Definitive Financing Commitment Term Sheet (the ... with a group of the Company,s stockholders, who ... "PRH Group" in a Form 8-K filed with ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: