The so-called Düsseldorf Patient has been without antiretroviral treatment for 4 years, since the virus has not reappeared since the stem cell transplant
According to a study published Monday in the journal nature medicine, the call Dusseldorf patient (Germany) has become the third case in the world confirmed from hiv cure after receiving a stem cell transplant. This finding opens the door to hope for the possibility of having a treatment applicable on a large scale.
After berlin patient, Timothy Ray Brown, as well as the London patient, Adam Castillejo, Magazine Nature just published the third case of HIV remission after a transplant of stem cells. It is a 53-year-old man whose identity has not been disclosed. After suffering from leukemia, he underwent a bone marrow transplant —where the stem cells are found— from a donor with a mutation that prevents the virus from penetrating cells, and he has been without antiretroviral treatment or trace of the virus for four years now.
one in a million
According to Javier Martinez-Picado, co-author of the study, it is difficult «find a suitable donor, who is not only compatible for the transplant but also has that mutation (CCR5 Delta32), and in that the probability is very low, about 1 in 1 million approximately",
This route is not applicable on a large scale, but it does show the way to a possible solution for all those infected. In this sense, researchers have been working on this protein for some time. CCR5 Delta32, capable of preventing infection, with the aim of genetically modifying it and implanting it in cells that, once reintroduced into the patient, can rapidly expand to cure the disease.
It is important to add, as this specialist has predicted, that «curing HIV in a timely manner is already a reality and, at a scalable level for the rest of the population, is getting closer«.