Posted 17 февраля 2022, 07:47
Published 17 февраля 2022, 07:47
Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
At a conference on retroviruses and opportunistic infections in Denver, American doctors made a presentation on another successful case of curing HIV using stem cells, reports The New York Times.
All that is known about the identity of the anonymous patient is her average age and mixed race. (The Mirror gives her name - according to the publication, this is 66-year-old New Yorker Lauryn Willenberg). In 2013, the woman was diagnosed with HIV, for which she was treated with antiretroviral drugs, and four years later she was diagnosed with leukemia. In the end, she was cured of both by a new method of transplantation using umbilical cord blood.
This is the blood that is stored in the placenta and umbilical vein after the baby is born. It contains stem cells, so this blood can be used to treat certain diseases. The first two HIV-free patients were treated with adult stem cells. However, cord blood is more accessible and versatile and does not require as much selection, while the bone marrow donor must be of the same race and ethnicity as the recipient.
From a donor who only partially matched her, the “New York patient” received cord blood, and the next of kin presented her with his blood, which was supposed to provide the body with immune defenses while the donor cells become dominant.
Now in the world 38 million people live with a diagnosis of HIV, but bone marrow transplantation is not indicated for everyone. This is a highly invasive and risky intervention, doctors turn to it only in cases where a patient with HIV is ill with cancer and all other treatment options do not work.
So far, only two cases of HIV cure have been reported. The first was "Berlin patient" Timothy Ray Brown, who lived without HIV for 12 years until he died of cancer in 2020, and in 2019 a second patient, Adam Castillejo, was reported. Both received bone marrow transplants from donors who had a mutation that blocks HIV infection. This mutation was found in only 20,000 donors, most of them from Northern Europe. Both men suffered from side effects after transplantation, including a condition in which donor cells attack the recipient's body. Brown nearly died after the transplant. Castillejo lost 30 kilograms, almost lost his hearing and had many infections.
Unlike her predecessors, the "New York patient" left the hospital just 17 days after her transplant. The combination of donated umbilical cord blood and blood from a relative spared her the side effects usually associated with a bone marrow transplant. 37 months after the transplant, the woman stopped antiretroviral therapy, and now, 14 months later, her blood tests show no evidence of HIV.
According to the researchers, the gender and racial background of the patient mean that a big step forward has been made in the development of HIV treatments. In women, the disease proceeds differently. They account for more than half of HIV cases, but only 11% of drug trial participants are women.