Dec
14
2010

#rsrh An AIDS cure?

I see that I have gotten your attention.

Via RedState colleague Aaron Gardner comes this report from Germany suggesting that they’ve managed to kill the HIV virus.  As I have had it explained to me, German doctors treating a HIV-positive patient suffering from leukemia (immune system) with adult* stem cells taken from a donor with a particular mutation (one that offers a heightened resistance to the HIV virus).  After two transplants, the leukemia went into remission – and the HIV virus is no longer detectable in the patients bloodstream, after 3.5 years.

This is highly exciting news, but one caveat: this treatment involved first destroying the patient’s existing immune system via chemotherapy and radiation.  Which is better than dying, but it’s not really a treatment that’s currently amenable to mass production methods.  Still: possible first, easy later.

Moe Lane

*In other words, no human being was killed to make this cure.

3 Comments

  • Demosthenes says:

    WOW. And the human mind wins again (hopefully).

  • countrydoc says:

    “…this treatment involved first destroying the patient’s existing immune system via chemotherapy and radiation. Which is better than dying, but it’s not really a treatment that’s currently amenable to mass production methods. Still: possible first, easy later.” Actually treatment for most forms of leukemia involve completely destroying the bone marrow (hence, the immune system) first. You have to since that’s where the cancer is. What makes this so hard, as pointed out at AOSHQ, is that the mutation is rare and the blood types have to be sufficiently matched (a lot more than just O/A/B/AB) so that it is not rejected.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      countrydoc: that’s true, of course. But even if they lick the tissue matching problem, the actual delivery mechanism is still going to be a bear. Or so it looks to this admitted layman. 🙂

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