On 15 February researchers reported USA patient with leukemia has become the first woman and the third person to be cured of HIV after receiving a stem cell transplant from a donor who was naturally resistant to the virus that cause AIDS.
This is the third known case of HIV remission in an individual who received a stem cell transplant. The research was conducted by the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trial Network (IMPAACT) P1107 observational study led by Yvonne Bryson, M.D., of the University of California Los Angeles, and Deborah Persaud, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. The IMPAACT network is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The IMPAACT P1107 study began in 2015 and was a U.S. based observational study designed to describe the outcomes of up to 25 participants living with HIV who underwent a transplant with CCR5Δ32/Δ32 cord blood stem cells for treatment of cancer, hematopoietic disease, or other underlying disease.
HIV remission resulting from a stem cell transplant had been previously observed in two cases. The first, known as the “Berlin patient” (a Caucasian male), experienced HIV remission for 12 years and was deemed cured of HIV; he died of leukemia in September 2020. The “London patient” (a Latino male) has been in HIV remission for more than 30 months.
Lewin said bone marrow transplants are not a viable strategy to cure most people living with HIV. But the report “confirms that the cure for HIV is possible and further strengthens using gene therapy as viable strategy for an HIV cure,” she said.