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Stem Cell HIV Treatment Successfully Cures Oldest Patient at City Of Hope

Jul, 2022

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This experimental HIV therapy involved a transplantation of stem cells from donor having a rare gene mutation, which successfully cured the fourth in world and the oldest patient ever.

A new experimental HIV treatment was found to be successfully curing a 66 year old man, who now has become the fourth and the oldest patient to be cured of HIV infection after receiving a stem cell transplantation from a donor having a rare genetic mutation that has been found to be associated with resistance to HIV. This person reportedly is now in 17 months remission from the disease.

Fifteen years back a person named Timothy Brown was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, who also had HIV infection. As the only remaining treatment option for this person was a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, the involved doctor found a stem cell donor who had a rare genetic mutation called confer resistance to the virus of HIV. When Brown received first transplant, in only three months the man went into HIV remission. It was found that Brown was functionally cured and had stopped antiretroviral treatment.

In the newly reported case, the 66 year old man was infected with HIV in 1988 and developed leukemia a few years back. In 2019 this person received hematopoietic stem cell treatment, with a donor having that important rare genetic mutation condition. Concerns regarding COVID-19 pandemic, this person was kept off the antiretroviral therapy, until the vaccination in 2021. And since then the researchers are monitoring him as the subject has been off the antiviral drugs for 17 months and shows continued HIV remission.

This successively cured patients gives hopes for a possible promising treatment as stem cell treatment can be harshly challenging and toxic, which is not suitable for people having only HIV infection. It can rather be administered to patients suffering from HIV as well as a severe type of blood cancer. With the results of this new experiment, modified stem cell therapy may become a promising treatment in older people.

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