Cancer leads scientists to discover cure for HIV

London man becomes second in world to be cured of HIV

London man becomes second in world to be cured of HIV

A transplant of bone marrow stem cells from a donor with that specific mutation has seemingly cured the man, known only as the "London patient," of his HIV infection.

The title is similar to the first known case of a cured HIV-positive patient.

Combined with past cases (one successful and one failed), we can now say something about what needs to be done to get rid of the virus.

The London patient said that it was "surreal" and "overwhelming" to have both his cancer and his HIV cured at the same time.

Gupta added that the method used is not appropriate for all patients but offers hope for new treatment strategies, including gene therapies.

"The concept of a cure for HIV is really being able to remove the virus", David Rosenthal, DO, PhD, medical director of the Center for Young Adult, Adolescent, and Pediatric HIV at Northwell Health in Great Neck, New York, who was not involved in the London patient's care, tells Health.

"We haven't cured HIV, but [this] gives us hope that it's going to be feasible one day to eliminate the virus", she said. He developed Hodgkin lymphoma that year and agreed to a stem cell transplant to treat the cancer in 2016.

"Until then, the emphasis needs to remain on prompt diagnosis of HIV and initiation of life-long combination antiretroviral therapy", Freedman said in a statement.

The Aids pandemic has killed about 35 million people worldwide since it began in the 1980s and about 37 million people are infected with HIV.

Gupta's case was in an HIV-positive man with advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma who received a transplant of hematopoietic stem cells from a donor with two copies of the so-called CCR5 gene mutation - the same one allegedly edited by He Jiankui that led to the birth of the world's first gene-edited babies previous year. The treatments are also too unsafe, expensive and risky to do for the large number of people who already have the virus that causes AIDS. People who have two mutated copies of the CCR5 allele are resistant to the HIV-1 virus strain that uses this receptor, as the virus can not enter host cells.

Since the Berlin patient, "cure" and not just treatment has become a topic in HIV research, said Hütter: "This new case supports the idea to seek an HIV cure".

Ten years ago, another patient in Berlin received a bone-marrow transplant from a donor with natural immunity to the virus.

Brown was given two stem cell transplants and radiotherapy for leukaemia, which is considered a much more aggressive form of treatment.

The case report is carried out by researchers at University College London (UCL) and Imperial College London, together with teams at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.

Nearly 1 million people die annually from HIV-related causes.

Experts and researchers talking about this second case, known as the "London Patient", are publicly stating that the patient is "in long-term remission", not "cured".

Experts who study AIDS say the success of the Berlin patient and the London patient is very important.

People who have two mutated copies of CCR5 are resistant to most HIV-1 virus strains, frustrating the virus' attempts to enter host cells.

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