HIV Bone Marrow Transplant: Patients Show No Signs of Virus

Wednesday, 03 Jul 2013 12:34 PM

By Michael Mullins

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Two Boston lymphoma patients who were HIV-positive no longer have detectable traces of the sexually transmitted disease in their blood cells after they received bone marrow transplants to treat their cancer.

The announcement was made Wednesday at the International AIDS Society Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The results are even more surprising considering both men stopped receiving antiretroviral therapy in recent weeks, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Editor's Note: Do You Support Obamacare? Vote in Urgent National Poll

Dr. Timothy Henrich and Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes of the division of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston refused to declare the men were cured for sure, but said the results were exciting. The doctors added that such results will better guide HIV research, though bone marrow transplants are highly unlikely to become a standard therapy for people with HIV.

The men were diagnosed HIV-positive many years before developing lymphoma.

Bone marrow transplants give lymphoma patients a healthier immune system and can cure the blood cancer.

The bone marrow transplants they received had normal cells that did not have the mutation that protects against HIV, the Los Angeles Times reported.

One man received his transplant four and a half years ago, while the other got his almost three years ago.

A third man also received a transplant, but died of lymphoma.

Henrich and Kuritzkes first announced the two surviving patients did not have the virus at the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington D.C.; at the time, though, both patients were still on antiretroviral drugs to keep the virus at bay.

Henrich warned that despite the hopeful results, the virus could still be hidden in other parts of the body like brain tissue.

"I don’t know if I will ever be able to say patients are cured," he said.

However if the patients remain HIV-free for a year or two, "the chances of the virus coming back will be very small," Henrich told The Los Angeles Times.

As successful as this bone marrow transplant appears to be at this point, Henrich added that when cost and risk is factored in, the procedure does not make sense to treat HIV-positive patients who do not have cancer.

Between 15 and 20 percent of patients who undergo bone marrow transplant died from the procedure, according to Henrich.

"Unfortunately, it’s not going to be a practical strategy," he added.

SPECIAL: Stop Your Sugar Addiction With These 4 Tips

Related stories:

Baby With HIV Cured Using Heavy Dose of Antiretroviral Drugs

HIV Cure 'Within Months,' Predict Scientists in Denmark

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Cambodia HIV Outbreak: 100-Plus People Diagnosed; Investigation Sought

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:50 PM

More than 100 HIV infections in a single Cambodian village have spurred the country's prime minister to ask for an inves . . .

Slender Man Case: Two Girls Competent to Stand Trial in Stabbing

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:26 PM

Two girls who allegedly stabbed a 12-year-old friend over the online game Slender Man are competent to stand trial for a . . .

Kate Upton Sexiest Woman Alive; Model Apologizes to Teen Brother

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 17:52 PM

Model Kate Upton was selected as People magazine's first Sexiest Woman Alive, a month after Chris Hemsworth received the . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved