- Category: Search for a Cure
- Published on Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
- Written by Gregory Fowler
Detectable HIV has returned in 2 Boston stem cell transplant recipients who for a time appeared to be controlling the virus during antiretroviral treatment interruption, Timothy Henrich from Brigham and Women's Hospital reported at the reported at the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2014) this week in Boston.
[Timothy Henrich, CROI press conference, March 6, 2014]
The men received donor bone marrow containing hematopoietic stem cells to treat lymphoma. Unlike the Berlin Patient -- who apparently remains HIV-free 7 years after stem cell transplants from a donor with a double mutation that makes cells resistant to HIV entry -- the Boston patients received normal stem cells.
After HIV could not be detected for 2.6 and 4.3 years, they agreed to try an analytical treatment interruption to see if the virus would return. This did occur, at 12 weeks and 8 months off treatment.
These cases suggest that curing HIV will be difficult to achieve if even a small amount of residual virus remains in the body. But they shed further light on HIV persistence and how it might be overcome to enable a functional cure.
TJ Henrich, E Hanhauser, MN Sirignano, et al. HIV-1 Rebound Following Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation and Treatment Interruption. Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2014). Boston, March 3-6. Abstract 144LB.
Press conference. 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2014). Boston.