A UK-based patient appears to be free of HIV following a stem cell transplant which has rendered the virus “undetectable” according to doctors. The news was originally reported in Nature, and has subsequently been reported in multiple media outlets including the BBC and Forbes.
This is the second reported successful treatment of HIV with stem cells, following the similar stem cell treatment of Timothy Ray Brown in 2008, who over 10 years later is still HIV-free.
The patient in question, who is only identified as male, living in London, and having previously been treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well as HIV, is reported as having been HIV-free for 18 months. In addition to the chemotherapy treatment he was receiving, the patient had stem cells implanted from a HIV-resistant donor, which was the trigger for his HIV going into remission.
The research and treatment was jointly coordinated by the University College London, Imperial College London, and Cambridge and Oxford Universities. Publication author Professor Ravinda Gupta said “By achieving remission in a second patient using a similar approach, we have shown that the Berlin patient (Timothy Ray Brown) was not an anomaly and that it really was the treatment approaches that eliminated HIV in these two people”.
Grace Century President and Director of Research Scott Wolf said “The news that a second man might have benefited from the lifesaving promise in stem cells found in bone marrow is the very reason why Grace Century’s Angels have invested into Provia Labs’ Store-a-Tooth, which harvests stem cells from baby teeth. The promise of stem cells from both MSC cells found in baby teeth and the cells in bone marrow is another reason Provia is looking at banking bone marrow”.