A British patient is the second-oldest in the world to be ‘cured’ of the HIV virus after performing a stem cell transplant.
Revolutionary news has already been called by the scientific community as a “milestone” after an individual has received stem cells from a transplant into the bone marrow of a donor with a rare genetic mutation that resists the HIV ‘attack’.
This London man thus becomes the second person ever declared as being in remission of the AIDS virus.
The anonymous London patient has not had the virus for 18 months after receiving the stem cells.
“There are no viruses that we can not measure. We have been able to detect whatever it is, “said Ravindra Gupta, a professor and biologist who led one of the research teams.
So far, the only other ‘cured’ HIV person was the ‘Berlin patient’ – so called by scientists – Timothy Ray Brown. According to experts, Brown remains HIV-free.
Scientists explain that the now-baptized ‘London patient’ has undergone treatments similar to those in Berlin.
The British man contracted HIV in 2003 before being diagnosed with blood cancer, also known as Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, in 2012.
Doctors sought a donor for a transplant – finding a donor with no degree of kinship with the patient and holder of the genetic mutation known as CCR5 delta 32.
The transplant strengthened the immune system of the London patient, as his body adopted donor mutations and resistance to HIV.
In statements to Reuters, Professor Gupta stressed that “this was the last chance of survival of the patient in question.”
The unpublished case was published Monday in the journal Nature, and involved researchers from four British universities: UCL, Imperial, Oxford and Cambridge.