Decades have been spent by scientists to find a cure for HIV/AIDS Patients. It seems that medical science is finally heading toward success in curing this devastating disease.
A woman from the US becomes the third person in the world to be cured of HIV. She is also the first female patient to have been cured of HIV. The woman was cured after receiving a stem cell transplant from a donor who was naturally resistant to the virus that causes AIDS, according to researchers.
Until now, only 3 cases of HIV being cured have been reported. All three involved men with HIV and either leukemia or lymphoma. These men received cells from adult donors to cure their cancer. All the stem cell donors carried two copies of a mutation, CCR5 Δ32, that confers resistance to HIV.
CCRS is the receptor of the HIV virus uses to infect cells. Unfortunately, very few people carry two copies of CCR5 Δ32, limiting the chances of finding a compatible donor, particularly for non-White patients. This makes the recent treatment even more special.
This is the first non-white woman to be cured of HIV
The HIV patient who was recently cured is a middle-aged woman who self-identifies as mixed-race. She also had both HIV and fast-progressing or acute, leukemia. A team led by Drs. Jingmei Hsu at Weill Cornell Medicine, Yvonne Bryson of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Deborah Persaud of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine used a modified approach to try to cure HIV.
Because of the difficulty in finding a compatible adult donor, the transplant included stem cells from banked umbilical cord blood. Umbilical cord blood stem cells don’t need as close a match for a successful transplant as adult stem cells.
This breakthrough could expand the pool of CCR5 Δ32 stem cells available to those living with HIV. The possibility of this potential cure for HIV/AIDS Patients might bring new hope to the lives of millions.
Stem cell therapy shows promising results in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, indicating that a cure for HIV/AIDS Patients might be possible soon.
Stem Cell Treatment Promising Cure For HIV/AIDS Patients
Patients in the trial have to first undergo chemotherapy to kill all the cancerous immune cells. Doctors then begin the process by transplanting stem cells from healthy individuals with a specific genetic mutation in which they lack receptors used by the virus to infect cells.
Scientists believe this is how infected individuals develop an immune system resistant to HIV. The new development might bring us closer to finding the Cure for HIV/AIDS Patients.
According to researchers, bone marrow transplants are not a viable strategy to cure most people living with HIV. But the report confirms that a cure for HIV is possible and further strengthens using gene therapy as a viable strategy for an HIV cure.
An important element of the success of this research is the transplantation of HIV-resistant cells. Prior to this, 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 a possible cure.