Second patient free of HIV after stem cell therapy
Stem cell therapy works ! Stem cell treatment cures another patient in London of HIV. Please read the article from the scientific publication Nature to see more details. The unidentified patient stopped taking antiretroviral drugs, with no sign of the virus after 18 months.
A medical team first used this stem cell technique on a patient , Timothy Ray Brown , 10 years ago who is still free of HIV. This second patient did not respond well to chemotherapy for his blood cancer. Medical practitioners used donated stem cells from healthy volunteers. Indeed, the team picked a donor with a mutation of the gene CCR5, that gives patients HIV resistance. It is quite rare to find donors that have copies of this mutation, however, it is the crucial detail that led to this remarkable outcome.
This stem cell transplant replaced the patient’s white blood cells with the HIV-resistant variant with great success. The team would not recommend this same technique for other HIV patients as it was particular for a patient with said cancer.
The medics say that antiretroviral drugs is still a better option for most patients of HIV, however, this result leads researchers to seek CCR5 and further techniques to treat these diseases.