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Author Topic: AIDS Researcher Receives SF Proclamation  (Read 2658 times)

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Offline Inchlingblue

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AIDS Researcher Receives SF Proclamation
« on: June 04, 2010, 11:57:26 AM »
This link also has a video. I think it's important that when Hutter says that 60 days after transplantation they still found HIV in the patient, meaning the bone marrow transplant itself did not fully eliminate the virus so whatever virus was left died off because it was simply not able to enter the new CCR5-deficient T cells. This is good since the procedures being studied do not involve bone marrow transplantation but only the part where the immune system is re-jigged with CCR5-deficient CD4s.

Although what I don't get is that this patient had dual tropic virus and the procedure still worked. I guess maybe enough of the X4 viruses were eliminated during the transplant and when he was on HAART?

AIDS researcher receives SF proclamation

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The German doctor who cured an HIV patient is in San Francisco being recognized for his work. The doctor's stem cell procedure eliminated the virus from the man's body. He is the only man known to have been cured of the disease.

There is so much optimism around Dr. Gero Hutter's 2007 procedure that the city of San Francisco gave the German doctor a proclamation. Three years ago, Hutter treated a HIV-positive man for leukemia using stem cells from a matched donor.

The donor was also immune to the HIV virus, which meant he did not have the CCR5 protein.

The protein helps the HIV virus attach itself to a healthy cell, therefore infecting it, but without CCR5, the virus can't hold on. The new cells from the donor helped the patient's body defeat the AIDS virus.

Hutter says today the patient is HIV-free.

"Surprisingly, we found 60 days after transplantation, was the last time that we had evidence of HIV in the patient," said Hutter.

The case sparked great interest from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine -- the state stem cell agency.

"And suddenly there is excitement because this is a way that we could use stem cells to potentially cure HIV," said Jeff Sheehy, a board member.

Dr. Jay Levy, M.D., of UCSF is a leading expert in HIV research.

"If we can eliminate that attachment site, which is called CCR5, the virus will not be able to enter the cell," said Levy.

The stem cell agency is funding two studies that focus on cutting off the CCR5 gene.

Similar research already underway offers a treatment but not a cure.

"Where we can take T-cells through a blood draw, go in and clip the CCR5 gene from those T-cells, expand that pool of T-cells and then re-infuse them in the hope of giving patients an immune system that is now immune to HIV infection," said Jacob Lalezari, M.D., from the Quest Clinical Research.

One of the two stem cell studies will be done at Sangamo Biosciences in Point Richmond using the latest technology in gene therapy.

"The goal of both applications is to be ready for phase one clinical trials at the end of four years," said Sheehy.

The proclamation at City Hall was issued at the request of the AIDS Policy Project, an organization of people with HIV and AIDS activists pushing for more AIDS cure research and funding.

The two teams involved in the stem cell studies are City of Hope led by John Zaia, M.D. That study is using the genetic engineering technique at Sangamo BioSciences. The other team is led by Irving Chen, Ph.D. AT UCLA.


LINK:

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/health&id=7477511
« Last Edit: June 05, 2010, 10:53:18 AM by Inchlingblue »

Offline veritas

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Re: AIDS Researcher Receives SF Proclamation
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2010, 05:43:06 PM »

Inch,

Thanks for posting this link. To even hear the words "HIV and Cure", in the same sentence, by some of the most respected researchers in the field, is AMAZING !

It's happening (on many fronts)!!!

v

Offline sam66

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Re: AIDS Researcher Receives SF Proclamation
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2010, 09:23:10 AM »
Inch,

 To even hear the words "HIV and Cure", in the same sentence, by some of the most respected researchers in the field, is AMAZING !



 i second that
december 2007 diagnosed +ve ,

Offline ElZorro

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Re: AIDS Researcher Receives SF Proclamation
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2010, 12:53:57 PM »
This is amazing news. I only wish my natural impatience would allow me to accept the fact that they want to be ready to start trials at the end of four years.  Start now!  ::)

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: AIDS Researcher Receives SF Proclamation
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2010, 01:43:38 PM »
This is amazing news. I only wish my natural impatience would allow me to accept the fact that they want to be ready to start trials at the end of four years.  Start now!  ::)

That's just one of the studies, the other is in Phase I already, see links below.

If you see the attached video the doctor started to say the word "within" and caught himself and changed it to "at the end of" four years. I read a previous article in which the wording was more along the lines of  "within."

At any rate, they do have to go through exploratory work and this takes a certain amount of time. Let's hope we are talking around four years and not longer than that; many times the time line is much longer than what they say.

I can tell you this much, I would be very comfortable being a guinea pig for having my CD4s genetically modified with no CCR5.

Approaching a "cure" for HIV by eliminating CCR5 might be enough of a catalyst for many people to begin HAART sooner than their numbers might warrant. While there is no way to know for sure what one's viral tropism is without a test being done, it has been shown that in general R5-tropic virus is what's present during initial HIV infection and then after a few years, X4 emerges. Presumably this approach won't work against X4-tropic virus, although, as mentioned above, the Berlin patient who appears to have been cured, had both R5 and X4 virus and it worked for him.

I'd be curious to do a tropism test but I think they're expensive and only covered for people who have to go on Selzentry (or other R5 entry inhibitors) for salvage reasons.

LINKS:

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=21770.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=25597.0

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/02/hivtreatment/
« Last Edit: June 05, 2010, 02:24:06 PM by Inchlingblue »

Offline J220

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Re: AIDS Researcher Receives SF Proclamation
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2010, 02:47:05 PM »
Although this example was extreme it shows that HIV CAN be cured. That should really give momentum to all the new approaches made possible by advances in bio-engineering, gene therapy, stem ells, etc. A universal therapy will be developed, no doubt...question is how long will it take, of course. But all in all this whole event is an extremely positive one. There is hope...
"Hope is my philosophy
Just needs days in which to be
Love of Life means hope for me
Born on a New Day" - John David

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: AIDS Researcher Receives SF Proclamation
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2010, 02:49:20 PM »
The Sangamo (City of Hope) study is actually in Phase II of human trials:

Genetic therapy has the potential to extinguish those lingering hot spots and ultimately cure patients of the virus, according to John Rossi, a researcher at the City of Hope.

Rossi is working on a pair of studies that could do just that. The first one is entering the second phase of human clinical trials, and the other has been tested on mice and is safe enough to be tested on humans.

HIV is devastating, because it attacks the immune system by destroying its key fighter: the T-cell. The first study tinkers with the genes inside T-cells so that they can resist HIV.

Researchers at the City of Hope created a strain of anti-HIV genes that they inserted into blood stem cells that will become T-cells.

These stem cells were injected into the four patients in the study two years ago.

The experiment has gone well and the next phase of the clinical trial will begin in a few weeks, Rossi said.


LINK:

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=27363.msg395204#msg395204
« Last Edit: June 05, 2010, 02:54:42 PM by Inchlingblue »

Offline ElZorro

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Re: AIDS Researcher Receives SF Proclamation
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2010, 02:58:15 PM »
Quote
These stem cells were injected into the four patients in the study two years ago.

I'd be interested to know what the current state of those four patients are. One of the things I struggle with in reading all of this research is what the results are  :-\

Assumably, the results were good as they are moving on, but I'd sure like to hear some definitive statistics/results

Offline ElZorro

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Re: AIDS Researcher Receives SF Proclamation
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2010, 03:22:40 PM »
This link seems to expand on the research with the four patients that you mentioned, Inch. This is from a year ago, January and seems to mimic the Berlin "cure". I'd hate to think/believe bone marrow transplant is the only way to get rid of this virus...

http://www.drugdiscoverynews.com/index.php?newsarticle=2720


Working with four lymphoma patients whose bone marrow had been killed via chemotherapy, a team led by Dr. David DiGuisto, director of haematopoietic cell therapies at City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., has demonstrated promising results from subsequent treatment with genetically altered stem cells. The scientists are planning further research to establish whether the treatment might rid patients of HIV infection altogether.

The technique involves introducing genes that curb the spread of HIV inside the body into human stem cells, then transplanting the stem cells into a patient’s bone marrow. In the first human trial, anti-HIV stem cells were transplanted into the four AIDS patients undergoing bone marrow replacement as part of treatment for lymphoma. The stem cells, DiGuisto says, are a mixture of genetically altered cells and “a sufficient dose of unmanipulated stem cells.” The protocol calls for no less than 2 million cells per kilogram of body weight. “Our best estimate,” DiGuisto adds, “is that about one percent of the cells are of the genetically altered type.” All four infused patients are in remission for lymphoma with no recurrence of HIV.

more...

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: AIDS Researcher Receives SF Proclamation
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2010, 03:33:41 PM »
Am I wrong in thinking that most of the danger of a bone marrow transplant is in receiving someone else's marrow?

Offline ElZorro

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Re: AIDS Researcher Receives SF Proclamation
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2010, 04:13:23 PM »
another video about this research...extremely exciting. It removes the bone marrow transplant component

http://cbs5.com/video/?id=65956@kpix.dayport.com

Offline veritas

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Re: AIDS Researcher Receives SF Proclamation
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2010, 04:28:18 PM »
Am I wrong in thinking that most of the danger of a bone marrow transplant is in receiving someone else's marrow?



The biggest danger is from the chemo and radiation to kill your old immune system. A good chance of developing tumours and cancer. Not worth the risk unless as a last resort.

v

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: AIDS Researcher Receives SF Proclamation
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2010, 04:30:04 PM »
The biggest danger is from the chemo and radiation to kill your old immune system. A good chance of developing tumours and cancer. Not worth the risk unless as a last resort.

v

That's not something that we would have to deal with using this therapy, correct?

Offline veritas

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Re: AIDS Researcher Receives SF Proclamation
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2010, 05:22:42 PM »

Hellraiser,

Correct!

v

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: AIDS Researcher Receives SF Proclamation
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2010, 05:45:59 PM »
That's not something that we would have to deal with using this therapy, correct?

The success with the Berlin patient became a "proof of concept" strongly indicating that gene therapy/stem cells could be used to alter CD4s, without necessarily using a donor and hopefully without even requiring a transplant.

The study, cited above by ElZorro of the 4 patients with HIV and lymphoma did entail the BM transplant because those people had lymphoma, which requires a transplant so they figured, let's infuse them with CCR5-deficient cells while we're at it.

It's not feasible to do BM transplants across the board for everyone with HIV. Not only is it very expensive (although at about $250K it's less than a lifetime of HAART) but the survival rate is about 70% (i.e. about 30% of people die due to the transplant itself). As v mentions, for a period of time the person has zero immune system, which leaves them vulnerable to pretty much everything disease-wise. There's also the issue of host rejection, even with a compatible donor. The Berlin patient actually ended up having two or maybe even three transplants due to rejections until one finally took.

Hopefully a BM transplant will not be necessary for this "cure" and that re-infusing enough CCR5-deficient CD4s is enough. Part of the success of the Berlin patient might have been the BM transplant since BM has been shown to be a reservoir for HIV so by transplanting you're getting rid of a big HIV reservoir.

The fact that they still detected HIV 60 days after transplant would seem to indicate that CCR5-deficient CD4s could be enough even without the transplant.
 

LINK:

http://www.hivandhepatitis.com/recent/2010/0312_2010_a.html

 


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