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Bone Marrow Removal Shows Promise In Removing HIV

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PS:  I saw my doc for my regular check up and joked about scheduling my stem cell transplant.  She shot me a sharp look which softened when I said I was kidding.  She also said that the drugs I'm taking now are a lot easier on the system than the immunosuppressant drugs that go along with a SC transplant.

Twelve-year-old Eric Blue has died from "a very bad form of graft-versus-host

The procedure, which was performed April 23, involved injecting Blue with blood cells from a donor with a rare genetic resistance to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Less than 1 percent of the population is born with this genetic resistance, according to Verneris. Doctors hoped the transplant would rid the boy’s body of both the leukemia and HIV and help fight off any recurrence.

While not yet conclusive, tissue and blood tests obtained through Blue’s treatment have shown an absence of HIV, even after his medications were discontinued, Verneris said.

“There was no sign of leukemia either for that matter,” he said. “Things were looking quite bright. Of course, that makes it even more bittersweet in some ways … that he was almost there.”

Bittersweet if in fact data shows absence of HIV. The evidence is pointing more and more towards graft-vs-host disease as the key in eliminating HIV from the body.  RIP Blue.

I'm not sure if this was posted, but this is a video of the Late Breaker presentation in which one of the researchers talks about the 2 Boston patients.  His presentation starts at about 14:00 minutes.


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