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Bone marrow transplant cure AIDS?

Interesting article on AIDS "cure".

Did a Bone Marrow Transplant Cure a Cancer Patient of AIDS?

A 42-year-old man who had both leukemia and AIDS received a bone marrow transplant — a common, late-stage treatment for that type of cancer. His doctor selected a bone marrow donor who had a rare genetic mutation that renders people virtually immune to HIV. The transplant appeared to cure the patient of AIDS.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
chiska
Nov. 13th, 2008 03:04 am (UTC)
Well, there are cases where a person with Celiac Disease donates marrow and the recipient ends up with Celiac Disease. (source, so you don't think I'm nuts: http://www.nature.com/bmt/journal/v20/n7/abs/1700926a.html). Maybe it is a T-cell thing? Where is that uber-smarty Firefly when you need her??
pjvj
Nov. 13th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
The article said a receptor molecule named CCR5 which is apparently needed for HIV to enter cells. The donor has a mutation which renders that absent in him. The AIDS patient now has the mutation. Anyhooo ... CCR5 is yes, found in/on T cells.
chiska
Nov. 13th, 2008 04:17 am (UTC)
Wow. I am so glad you understood that. :)

pjvj
Nov. 13th, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)
lol. I R weird. :P~
chiska
Nov. 13th, 2008 04:35 am (UTC)
U R!

I just don't comprehend all that body system function stuff. Probably would explain all the effort in getting an edjumacation in Compooter Engineering.
pjvj
Nov. 13th, 2008 04:44 am (UTC)
But the computer engineering stuff to me is what the body stuff is to you. But really, it is just a different type of engineering. ;-)
droops
Nov. 13th, 2008 02:21 pm (UTC)
Interesting. Hopefully they'll be able to do research on this.

Another interesting thought is why this genetic mutation exists in the first place. Is it there to combat something similar to HIV in the first place? It would be enlightening I bet to find out what else this mutation does.
pjvj
Nov. 13th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
It may just be a mutation. People with it have a higher susceptibility to West Nile virus (if you can believe Wiki as a source). Some HIV drugs work to block the CCR5 receptor, so apparently this isn't new knowledge, but it is knowledge used in the guy with leukemia and HIV that receive the marrow transplant.

I would think if the mutation was a form of self-defense for the body then it would be higher where infection rates are higher, but that is not so. It is fascinating nonetheless.
labrys6
Nov. 13th, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
Man, makes you wonder if they aren't out beating the bushes for folks with this mutation...to bone transplant AIDS patients more often! It is somewhat odd how evolution has made cross-purposes of sorts; like how sickle cell anemia makes one less susceptible to malaria for instance. If you only get the sickle cell gene from one parent, your life is enhanced by the malarial resistance; but get it from both and you are screwed.

People forget, disease causing critters are not static---they keep evolving, and we evolve with them.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )