new therapy for the cure of HIV in sight?

a team of doctors reported recently to have healed a man from England by the human immunodeficiency virus. The English patient shows no detectable signs of viruses for 18 months. Worldwide, it is therefore the second known person, which could be cured of HIV. The virus causes the deadly disease of AIDS in end-stage.

a team of medical doctors and physicians in England has recently freed a patient from the dangerous human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Apparently, the cure was a positive side effect of cancer therapy. The man suffered from Hodgkin’s disease, a malignant tumor of the lymphatic system. To the treatment he received a stem cell transplant, which at the same time freed him from HIV. The reason: The donor had a natural mutation that protects him from some types of HIV. This mutation was transferred by donating to the patients and healed him so. The unusual case was recently presented in the journal “Nature”.

is a major problem in the treatment of HIV, that settle the virus directly into the white blood cells. (Image: Ezume images / fotolia.com)

rare mutation suppressed HI virus

as communicated to the doctors, this is already the second case of its kind. Ten years ago, ein Berliner in the same way by HIV had already been healed. Both patients were treated with Allogenic from donors, who carried a genetic mutation to suppress the HIV receptor CCR5.

for 18 months without any sign of HIV

the English patient has discontinued its anti-retroviral therapy for HIV for 18 months and shows no detectable signs of the disease. Nevertheless, the doctors show cautious: “it is still too early to say with certainty that he was cured of HIV and his condition will continue to be supervised,” write the doctors of the University College London to the rare case.

there is currently no cure of HIV

“At the moment, the only way for the treatment of HIV is taking drugs that suppress the virus”, explains Professor Ravindra Gupta in a press release. People living with HIV are currently dependent on drugs all their lives. Particularly in developing countries, this constitutes a major challenge. Nearly 37 million people worldwide live with HIV, every year still around one million people die from this. “To find a way, to completely eliminate the HI virus, the virus in the white blood cells of the host is particularly difficult, since integrated”, explains the professor.

about the extraordinary English patient

the English patient, who wishes to remain anonymous and prefer at his own request, suffers from since 2003 under an HIV infection. In 2012, an advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma was diagnosed with in addition. In addition to chemotherapy he underwent in the year 2016 a stem cell transplant. The mutation in the patient’s body arrived by this transplant. The mutation complex named CCR5 alleles of the Δ32 ensures that HIV-1 excitation can no longer penetrate into the host cells because the required receptor CCR5 not accessible.

35 months after transplantation

took after transplantation the patient continued for 16 months the HIV drugs. Then the clinical team decided together with the patient, the ARV therapy to interrupt, to test whether indeed exists an HIV-1 remission. For 18 months now, he takes no medication and regular tests confirmed that no viruses are undetectable.

new approach for HIV therapy

‘by the remission in a second patient, using a similar approach we have shown that the Berlin patient was no anomaly”, Professor emphasizes Gupta. However, if this process not as a standard HIV treatment suitable. The side effects of therapy were too severe. Nevertheless, a gene therapy for the treatment of HIV is conceivable through further research. “If we continue our research, we must understand whether we could turn off the receptor in humans with HIV” sums up Professor Gupta. The obvious success of stem cell transplantation offers new hope in the search for a long-awaited cure against HIV and AIDS. Learn more about HIV, see the article “sexual diseases”. (vb)