HIV Cure May Involve Gene Therapy – Bone Marrow Transplant For Leukemia and AIDS Removes Virus – Delta 32 Mutation Needed

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(Best Syndication News) Amazing research from Europe suggests that bone marrow from specific individuals can cure HIV (see video below). More tests and research needs to be done, but it appears that a bone marrow transplant cured a patient’s leukemia and Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection (AIDS).

It is believed that the bone marrow must be from a donor with a Delta 32 mutation from both parents. Found in only one in 1000 European and Americans, the genetic mutation prevents HIV from attaching itself to cells by blocking CCR5, a receptor that acts as a kind of gateway. People with this mutation are “resistant” to HIV.

According to Patrick McGroarty with the Associated Press, the patient was being treated for both HIV and leukemia. Dr. Gero Huetter, the patient’s doctor at Berlin's Charite hospital and medical school, suspected that this type of therapy would work because of previous research. "I read it in 1996, coincidentally," Huetter said. "I remembered it and thought it might work."

According to Mark Schoofs with the Wall Street Journal, the patient received a bone marrow transplant in 2006 from a donor who is homozygous for the CCR5-Δ32 (Delta 32) trait. After 600 days the 42-year old patient was still healthy with undetectable levels of HIV in the blood and all tissues tested.

Schoofs says the findings could lead to a therapy by Huetter is very cautionary. Before the bone marrow transplant Huetter had to prescribe power drugs and kill off the patients own infected bone marrow cells and disable his immune system. This treatment is fatal in 20 and 30 percent of recipients.

The patient had to be taken off his HIV drugs which left him vulnerable before the transplant. The drugs might have prevented the bone marrow cells from surviving. According to the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases, Anthony Fauci, the procedure is too costly and too dangerous. Fauci is hopeful that the finding will could inspire researchers to pursue gene therapy as a means to block or suppress HIV.

By Marsha Quinn
Best Syndication News Health Writer

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