Third patient reported cured of HIV after receiving stem cell transplant

A study published this Monday in the journal nature medicine reported that a third HIV patient has managed to be cured after a stem cell transplant and that in your body there is no longer a trace of the AIDS virus. Before the case of this “patient from Düsseldorf” (city in western Germany), two other patients of HIV had managed to be cured, the first of them in Berlin in 2009 and the second in London in 2019.

According to the international consortium IciStemthis third patient had received a stem cell transplant as part of the treatment for leukemia. After this operation, he was able to interrupt the treatment he was following against HIV.

In the analyzes they did, they found no trace of the viral particles, of viral stocks nor the immune response against the virus. The three patients who managed to be definitively cured of AIDS they have the same point in common: all three suffered from blood cancer and for this reason were treated with a stem cell transplantwhich thoroughly renewed your immune system.

In all three cases, his donor had a rare mutation in the CCR5 gene, a genetic change that prevents the entry of HIV into cells.

“During a bone marrow transplant, the patient’s immune cells are entirely replaced by cells from the donor, which makes it possible to make the vast majority disappear of infected cells,” explains virologist Asier Sáez-Cirion, one of the authors of the study, in a statement. “This is an exceptional situation. when all these factors coincide so that this transplant is a double success, both for curing leukemia and HIV”, he adds.

As less than 1% of the population often benefit from hiv Protective Genetic Mutation, few donors stem cell they have it. Although these cases give hope scientists to find an aids cure, a stem cell transplant It is a risky treatment and it does not suit to the situation of the majority of HIV patients.