Stem Cell Transplant Cures HIV In 'Berlin Patient'

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    Dec 14, 2010 8:27 PM GMT
    So a promising breakthrough has been reported. Having worked in health research, I've heard of plenty of studies that have sounded good but never followed through. Hope this one leads to something. Will look for the original article in Blood.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/14/hiv-cure-berlin-patient_n_796521.html

    Stem Cell Transplant Cures HIV In 'Berlin Patient'
    The Huffington Post | Carly Schwartz

    On the heels of World AIDS Day comes a stunning medical breakthrough: Doctors believe an HIV-positive man who underwent a stem cell transplant has been cured as a result of the procedure.

    Timothy Ray Brown, also known as the "Berlin Patient," received the transplant in 2007 as part of a lengthy treatment course for leukemia. His doctors recently published a report in the journal Blood affirming that the results of extensive testing "strongly suggest that cure of HIV infection has been achieved."

    Brown's case paves a path for constructing a permanent cure for HIV through genetically-engineered stem cells.

    Last week, Time named another AIDS-related discovery to its list of the Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs of 2010. Recent studies show that healthy individuals who take antiretrovirals, medicine commonly prescribed for treating HIV, can reduce their risk of contracting the disease by up to 73 percent.

    While these developments by no means prove a cure for the virus has been found, they can certainly provide hope for the more than 33 million people living with HIV worldwide. Alongside such findings, global efforts to combat the epidemic have accelerated as of late, with new initiatives emerging in the Philippines and South Africa this week.
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    Dec 14, 2010 8:45 PM GMT
    Abstract of the research article:

    Evidence for the cure of HIV infection by CCR532/32 stem cell transplantation

    Kristina Allers1,*, Gero Hütter2, Jörg Hofmann3, Christoph Loddenkemper4, Kathrin Rieger2, Eckhard Thiel2 and Thomas Schneider1

    HIV entry into CD4+ cells requires interaction with a cellular receptor, generally either CCR5 or CXCR4. We have previously reported the case of an HIV-infected patient in whom viral replication remained absent despite discontinuation of antiretroviral therapy after transplantation with CCR532/32 stem cells. However, it was expected that the long-lived viral reservoir would lead to HIV rebound and disease progression during the process of immune reconstitution. In the present study, we demonstrate successful reconstitution of CD4+ T cells at the systemic level as well as in the gut mucosal immune system following CCR532/32 stem cell transplantation, while the patient remains without any sign of HIV infection. This was observed although recovered CD4+ T cells contain a high proportion of activated memory CD4+ T cells, i.e. the preferential targets of HIV, and are susceptible to productive infection with CXCR4-tropic HIV. Furthermore, during the process of immune reconstitution, we found evidence for the replacement of long-lived host tissue cells with donor-derived cells indicating that the size of the viral reservoir has been reduced over time. In conclusion, our results strongly suggest that cure of HIV has been achieved in this patient.

    http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/cgi/content/abstract/blood-2010-09-309591v1
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    Dec 15, 2010 9:07 AM GMT
    Here's another article about it, that explained it pretty well. I seriously hope these doctors are on the right path to finding a cure for this... It sounds so promising and would be amazing for so many people.

    http://www.aidsmap.com/page/1577949/
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    Dec 15, 2010 9:18 AM GMT
    Ehm yeah I know about this... dont get your hopes up jst yet though... there's a lot of stuff they still need to get through if they want to start using stem cells to induce immunity in people... it comes with a lot of problems, side effects and the like
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    Dec 15, 2010 10:24 AM GMT
    Metalslugger saidGuys there have been doctors around the world curing aids, cancer, and other diseases using super high doses of Vitamin C for years!!! The drug industry is nasty and greedy. They are happy people get sick so they can sell their shit. Do the research if you don't believe me.

    Nah, show us the research if what you say is true.

    Metalslugger saidAlso, eating raw cacao(pure chocolate) and blue green algae stimulates stem cells in your body up to 80%!


    Stimulating your own stem cells would not work. The patient received a bone marrow transplant from someone with an HIV-resistant gene mutation, and that gene went on to replace his own normal genes.
  • Tiller66

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    Dec 15, 2010 10:57 AM GMT
    I will just keep an eye on it for now to many things can change between people that they try this with.It could be just a fluke of these two sets of genes when it can be done more then once I'll feel more confident about it but I do wish them good luck in this quest b/c we can all benafit from it.
  • HereNBoston

    Posts: 221

    Dec 17, 2010 2:23 AM GMT
    Metalslugger saidGuys there have been doctors around the world curing aids, cancer, and other diseases using super high doses of Vitamin C for years!!! The drug industry is nasty and greedy. They are happy people get sick so they can sell their shit. Do the research if you don't believe me. Also, eating raw cacao(pure chocolate) and blue green algae stimulates stem cells in your body up to 80%!


    yeeeaaaaahhh, that's really not well supported in the literature. you'll find a few studies here and there that might make some promising claims, but there are either issues in methodology or the results aren't really compelling either way.

    I read about this case awhile back, so it's kind of cool to see an update although research into this is really preliminary. I mean, virology as a science is really in its early stages anyway. I personally doubt that it'll present any new treatment options any time soon considering the process is pretty painful, dangerous and miserable at times for the patient. that's not even taking into account survival rates. don't get me wrong though, for a science nerd, it's a pretty exciting case to watch.
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Dec 17, 2010 2:31 AM GMT
    As was discussed in another forum on this topic, I'm not certain how much of a "functional cure" this is...I would have to have my entire immune system wiped out and then a bone marrow/stem cell transplant from the donor...

    ...that sounds HIGHLY intrusive to my body...and expensive...no doubt this will lead to break throughs which are less invasive and less expensive, but I'll take my drugs for now...

    - David icon_wink.gif
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    Dec 17, 2010 9:53 PM GMT
    The science may not be as painful or distant as it sounds. Remember it's the delta-CCR5 allele that confers immunity, i.e. if you knock out the co-receptors (either CCR5 or CXCR4) in your stem cells, you would have essentially achieved what the patient did after a bone marrow transplant.

    Knocking genes out is easier than introducing genes into cells. siRNA's might do the trick.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_interfering_RNAGiven the ability to knock down essentially any gene of interest, RNAi via siRNAs has generated a great deal of interest in both basic[6] and applied biology. There are an increasing number of large-scale RNAi screens that are designed to identify the important genes in various biological pathways. Because disease processes also depend on the activity of multiple genes, it is expected that in some situations turning off the activity of a gene with an siRNA could produce a therapeutic benefit.

    However, applying RNAi via siRNAs to living animals, especially humans, poses many challenges. Experimentally, siRNAs show different effectiveness in different cell types in a manner as yet poorly understood: some cells respond well to siRNAs and show a robust knockdown, whereas others show no such knockdown (even despite efficient transfection).
  • tongun18

    Posts: 593

    Dec 20, 2010 7:30 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidThe science may not be as painful or distant as it sounds. Remember it's the delta-CCR5 allele that confers immunity, i.e. if you knock out the co-receptors (either CCR5 or CXCR4) in your stem cells, you would have essentially achieved what the patient did after a bone marrow transplant.

    Knocking genes out is easier than introducing genes into cells. siRNA's might do the trick.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_interfering_RNAGiven the ability to knock down essentially any gene of interest, RNAi via siRNAs has generated a great deal of interest in both basic[6] and applied biology. There are an increasing number of large-scale RNAi screens that are designed to identify the important genes in various biological pathways. Because disease processes also depend on the activity of multiple genes, it is expected that in some situations turning off the activity of a gene with an siRNA could produce a therapeutic benefit.

    However, applying RNAi via siRNAs to living animals, especially humans, poses many challenges. Experimentally, siRNAs show different effectiveness in different cell types in a manner as yet poorly understood: some cells respond well to siRNAs and show a robust knockdown, whereas others show no such knockdown (even despite efficient transfection).


    This begs the question: why hasn't gene therapy been explored to alter the existent bone marrow instead of performing a transplant and all the necessary requirements that go along with it?... or has it?
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    Dec 21, 2010 1:11 AM GMT
    tongun18 said
    This begs the question: why hasn't gene therapy been explored to alter the existent bone marrow instead of performing a transplant and all the necessary requirements that go along with it?... or has it?


    The death of Jesse Gelsinger was a major brake in gene therapy trials in the US.
    Yes, trials have been done to introduce genes into the bone marrow, but none that I know of for HIV. Specifically in HIV, there was a trial with modified CD4 cells:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_therapy#2005_to_presentIn November 2006 Preston Nix from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine reported on VRX496, a gene-based immunotherapy for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that uses a lentiviral vector for delivery of an antisense gene against the HIV envelope. In the Phase I trial enrolling five subjects with chronic HIV infection who had failed to respond to at least two antiretroviral regimens, a single intravenous infusion of autologous CD4 T cells genetically modified with VRX496 was safe and well tolerated. All patients had stable or decreased viral load; four of the five patients had stable or increased CD4 T cell counts. In addition, all five patients had stable or increased immune response to HIV antigens and other pathogens. This was the first evaluation of a lentiviral vector administered in U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved human clinical trials for any disease.[23] Data from an ongoing Phase I/II clinical trial were presented at CROI 2009.[24]
  • tongun18

    Posts: 593

    Dec 21, 2010 9:13 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 said
    tongun18 said
    This begs the question: why hasn't gene therapy been explored to alter the existent bone marrow instead of performing a transplant and all the necessary requirements that go along with it?... or has it?


    The death of Jesse Gelsinger was a major brake in gene therapy trials in the US.
    Yes, trials have been done to introduce genes into the bone marrow, but none that I know of for HIV. Specifically in HIV, there was a trial with modified CD4 cells:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_therapy#2005_to_presentIn November 2006 Preston Nix from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine reported on VRX496, a gene-based immunotherapy for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that uses a lentiviral vector for delivery of an antisense gene against the HIV envelope. In the Phase I trial enrolling five subjects with chronic HIV infection who had failed to respond to at least two antiretroviral regimens, a single intravenous infusion of autologous CD4 T cells genetically modified with VRX496 was safe and well tolerated. All patients had stable or decreased viral load; four of the five patients had stable or increased CD4 T cell counts. In addition, all five patients had stable or increased immune response to HIV antigens and other pathogens. This was the first evaluation of a lentiviral vector administered in U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved human clinical trials for any disease.[23] Data from an ongoing Phase I/II clinical trial were presented at CROI 2009.[24]


    Oh yea! I recall hearing about that but weren't the doctors running the trial found to have broken several rules of conduct? Shouldn't Gelsinger have been excluded from the trial from the beginning but was instead admitted for some reason (I can't recall exactly what happened)? Has research really come to a stand still because of that?
  • metta

    Posts: 39082

    Jun 05, 2011 7:05 PM GMT
    First man ‘functionally cured’ of HIV

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110603/us_yblog_thelookout/first-man-functionally-cured-of-hiv


    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2011/05/16/apparent-immunity-gene-cures-bay-area-man-of-aids/