Duesseldorf patient cured of HIVThird person in four decades to recover from the fatal disease
Scientists have successfully cured a third person of HIV. The man codenamed "the Duesseldorf patient" was cured of the life-threatening disease after receiving a stem cell transplant, which also treated his leukaemia.
Previously, two other patients have been cured following the high-risk procedure. The patients in Berlin and London were also suffering from the two diseases.
Details of the latest success story, aka, the Duesseldorf patient, have been revealed in the journal Nature Medicine.
While the patient's name was not released, the study revealed that he is 53 years old and was diagnosed with HIV in 2008. Three years later, he was then diagnosed with a life-threatening form of blood cancer called acute myeloid leukaemia.
As per the study, "this third case of HIV-1 cure" provides "valuable insights that will hopefully guide future cure strategies".
In 2013, the Duesseldorf patient underwent a bone marrow transplant using stem cells from a female donor that had a rare mutation in her CCR5 gene.
As per AFP, this gene mutation has been found to stop HIV from entering cells.
The patient celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the transplant on Valentine's day, where the donor was the "guest of honour".
In a statement, he said that he was proud of his "worldwide team of doctors who succeeded in curing me of HIV - and at the same time, of course, of leukaemia".
The bone marrow transplant used in this case is a severe and dangerous operation. Hence, it is only suitable for some special cases or a small number of patients suffering from HIV and blood cancer.
Another challenge in this treatment is locating a bone marrow donor with the rare gene mutation.