- Category: Search for a Cure
- Published on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 00:00
- Written by Gregory Fowler
Two Boston men with HIV who received bone marrow transplants after a milder conditioning chemotherapy regimen continued to have undetectable virus 7 and 15 weeks after undergoing experimental treatment interruption, researchers reported at the 7th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2013) this week in Kuala Lumpur.
As reported at last year's International AIDS Conference, the men underwent allogeneic stem cell transplants to treat lymphoma. Unlike the Berlin Patient, the donors' stem cells were susceptible to HIV infection (not CCR5-delta-32) and the patients stayed on antiretroviral therapy (ART) throughout the transplant process.
[Timothy Henrich speaks at IAS 2013 press conference, Kuala Lumpur, July 2, 2013]
After HIV fell to very low levels in their blood and gut tissue, the patients underwent analytic ART interruption with frequent and careful monitoring. To date, according to Timothy Henrich from Brigham and Women's Hospital, HIV RNA remains undetectable in peripheral blood and integrated HIV DNA cannot be detected in cells.
Henrich described these patients at a press conference prior to his late-breaker presentation at the final session of the conference. He stressed that we do not yet understand the mechanisms responsible for these findings, and it is too soon to declare that these individuals are functionally cured.
See also: IAS 2013: Boston Stem Cell Transplant Recipients Now Controlling HIV Off Treatment
T Henrich, E Hanhauser, M Sirignano, D Kuritzkes, et al. In depth investigation of peripheral and gut HIV-1 reservoirs, HIV-specific cellular immunity, and host microchimerism following allogeneic hematopoetic stem cell transplantation. 7th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention. Kuala Lumpur, June 30-July 3, 2013. Abstract WELBA05.