HIV Patient Cured with Stem Cell Transplant
In a new article published in the New England Journal of Medicine on February 12, 2009, the authors report a case of HIV being cured. Cured meaning there is no detectable traces of HIV in the patient's blood.
The patient is a 42 year old HIV patient who had leukemia. To treat the leukemia, the patient received a transplant of stem cells. His donor is a carrier of a rare gene variant known to resist HIV disease.
That variant is a gene mutation known as CCR5delta32. The variant is found in 1-3% of the white populations of European descent.
The patient now is healthy. In addition to treating his leukemia, the transplant appears to have wiped out his HIV disease. He has remained without a viral rebound 20 months after transplantation and discontinuation of antiretroviral therapy.
This outcome demonstrates the critical role CCR5 plays in maintaining HIV-1 infection. It does not make stem cell transplantation a treatment for HIV disease.
Long-Term Control of HIV by CCR5 Delta32/Delta32 Stem-Cell Transplantation; NEJM Vol 360, No 7, pp 692-698, Feb 12, 2009; Gero Hütter, M.D., Daniel Nowak, M.D., Maximilian Mossner, B.S., Susanne Ganepola, M.D., Arne Müßig, M.D., Kristina Allers, Ph.D., Thomas Schneider, M.D., Ph.D., Jörg Hofmann, Ph.D., Claudia Kücherer, M.D., Olga Blau, M.D., Igor W. Blau, M.D., Wolf K. Hofmann, M.D., and Eckhard Thiel, M.D.