First woman reported to be cured of HIV after stem cell transplant | Health

First woman reported to be cured of HIV after stem cell transplant | Health

The first woman to be healed of HIV after a stem cell transplantation has been reported

In another breakthrough leap in the fight against HIV, a third person is expected to be cured of the virus, with campaigners hoping the world is closer to eliminating the disease globally

A US research team has reported that it may have cured an HIV-infected woman for the first time.

A US patient with leukemia has become the first woman and third person to be cured of HIV after receiving a stem cell transplant from a donor who was naturally resistant to the virus that causes AIDS.

The case of a middle-aged woman of mixed race presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Denver also involved cord blood for the first time, a new approach that could make the treatment available to more people.

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Since receiving cord blood to treat her acute myeloid leukemia — a cancer that begins in the blood-forming cells in the bone marrow — the woman has been free and free of the virus for 14 months, without needing any powerful HIV treatments.  of what is known as antiretroviral treatment.

Two prior cases occurred in men – one white and one Latino – who had received adult stem cells, which are often used in bone marrow transplants.

“This is now the third report of treatment in this setting, and the first report in a woman living with HIV,” Sharon Levin, president-elect of the International AIDS Society, said in a statement.

US Supported Studies

The case is part of a larger US-supported study led by Dr. Yvonne Bryson of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

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It aims to follow 25 people with HIV who undergo transplants with stem cells taken from cord blood to treat cancer and other serious conditions.

In the trial, patients first undergo chemotherapy to kill the cancer’s immune cells.  Doctors then transplant stem cells from individuals with a specific genetic mutation in which they lack the receptors used by the virus to infect cells.

Scientists believe that these individuals then develop immune systems resistant to HIV.

Levine said bone marrow transplants are not a viable strategy for curing most people living with HIV.  But the report “confirms that a cure for HIV is possible and further strengthens this by using gene therapy as a viable strategy to treat HIV,” she said.

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The study suggests that a key element to success is the transplantation of HIV-resistant cells.

Previously, scientists believed that a common stem cell transplant side effect called graft-versus-host disease, in which the donor immune system attacks the recipient’s immune system, played a role in the potential cure.

“Taken together, these three cases of stem cell transplant post-treatment help tease out the different components of the transplant that were absolutely critical to the cure,” Levine said.


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