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Bowser
06-06-2011, 01:43 PM
Since HIV was discovered 30 years ago this week, 30 million people have died from the disease, and it continues to spread at the rate of 7,000 people per day globally, the UN says.

There's not much good news when it comes to this devastating virus. But that is perhaps why the story of the man scientists call the "Berlin patient" is so remarkable and has generated so much excitement among the HIV advocacy community.

Timothy Ray Brown suffered from both leukemia and HIV when he received a bone marrow stem cell transplant in Berlin, Germany in 2007. The transplant came from a man who was immune to HIV, which scientists say about 1 percent of Caucasians are. (According to San Francisco's CBS affiliate, the trait may be passed down from ancestors who became immune to the plague centuries ago. This Wired story says it was more likely passed down from people who became immune to a smallpox-like disease.)



What happened next has stunned the dozens of scientists who are closely monitoring Brown: His HIV went away.

"He has no replicating virus and he isn't taking any medication. And he will now probably never have any problems with HIV," his doctor Gero Huetter told Reuters. Brown now lives in the Bay Area, and suffers from some mild neurological difficulties after the operation. "It makes me very happy," he says of the incredible cure.

The development of anti-retroviral drugs in the 1990s was the first sign of hope in the epidemic, transforming the disease from a sudden killer to a more manageable illness that could be lived with for decades. But still, the miraculous cocktail of drugs is expensive, costing $13 billion a year in developing countries alone, according to Reuters. That figure is expected to triple in 20 years--raising the worry that more sick people will not be able to afford treatment.

Although Brown's story is remarkable, scientists were quick to point out that bone marrow transplants can be fatal, and there's no way Brown's treatment could be applied to the 33.3 million people around the world living with HIV. The discovery does encourage "cure research," according to Dr. Jay Levy, who co-discovered HIV thirty years ago, something that many people did not even think was possible years ago.

You can watch Brown talk about his cure in this CBS video report.

(Brown: Eric Risberg/AP)


http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110603/us_yblog_thelookout/first-man-functionally-cured-of-hiv

Simplex3
06-06-2011, 01:45 PM
Sweet. Congratulations to that guy. Sucks that he had to get leukemia to cure his AIDS, though.

mnchiefsguy
06-06-2011, 01:46 PM
Any cure for a lethal disease is a miracle. Here's hoping this one works out and is a viable treatment.

Brainiac
06-06-2011, 01:48 PM
Sweet. Congratulations to that guy. Sucks that he had to get leukemia to cure his AIDS, though.
If he survives his leukemia, it sounds like a pretty good trade to me.

RedNeckRaider
06-06-2011, 01:59 PM
Magic Johnson has no trace of HIV much less AIDS now. He must have found a cure~

Simplex3
06-06-2011, 02:12 PM
If he survives his leukemia, it sounds like a pretty good trade to me.

Kind of a dangerous freaking "if", but hopefully it works out.

Dave Lane
06-06-2011, 02:15 PM
Any cure for a lethal disease is a miracle. Here's hoping this one works out and is a viable treatment.

No its good science and a bit of luck. Great combination on all fronts!

chasedude
06-06-2011, 02:16 PM
If the donor has the antiboty, can't they be extracted and mass produced?

I know I'm not the only one that has thought this idea. I'm assuming it's not medically / technically possible yet?

Ebolapox
06-06-2011, 04:14 PM
If the donor has the antiboty, can't they be extracted and mass produced?

I know I'm not the only one that has thought this idea. I'm assuming it's not medically / technically possible yet?

the issue is that HIV has an EXTREMELY high mutation rate. even if an antibody worked (and keep in mind, HIV uses reverse transcriptase, an enzyme, to encode itself into T-helper cells and other immune system cells), it would quickly cease to work due to mutations in the genetic code.

chasedude
06-06-2011, 07:26 PM
the issue is that HIV has an EXTREMELY high mutation rate. even if an antibody worked (and keep in mind, HIV uses reverse transcriptase, an enzyme, to encode itself into T-helper cells and other immune system cells), it would quickly cease to work due to mutations in the genetic code.

But yet this "person"donating the marrow stem cells is immune to it. If his/her genome was broken down the genetic sequence could be discovered and used to make future drugs. It's all hypothetical of course, I hope someone is doing research though to make it a reality.

Ebolapox
06-06-2011, 07:43 PM
But yet this "person"donating the marrow stem cells is immune to it. If his/her genome was broken down the genetic sequence could be discovered and used to make future drugs. It's all hypothetical of course, I hope someone is doing research though to make it a reality.

I'd put huge money on this person having the CCR5-delta32 mutation that doesn't allow entry of the virus into dendritic, macrophage or T-helper cells. To do the type of genetic engineering that would be required to make this mutation work (and keep in mind, it makes you more susceptible to infections of certain bacterium--everything in nature is a trade-off), you're talking the type of science that makes people picket and freak out. for crying out loud, test tube babies were a scifi nightmare until abortion became the big issue. people are afraid of genetic engineering of that type, fwiw.

Silock
06-06-2011, 10:50 PM
If he survives his leukemia, it sounds like a pretty good trade to me.

If he doesn't survive his leukemia, it still sounds like a good trade.

KILLER_CLOWN
06-06-2011, 10:58 PM
Magic Johnson has no trace of HIV much less AIDS now. He must have found a cure~

Strange how that works huh? ;)

Bump
06-06-2011, 11:03 PM
there will never be another cure for anything ever again, it's just not good business. Hospitals are in the business of making money, not curing people.

BWillie
06-06-2011, 11:12 PM
$$$

That is the cure. Haven't you seen that South Park. Just print more $

KILLER_CLOWN
06-06-2011, 11:14 PM
there will never be another cure for anything ever again, it's just not good business. Hospitals are in the business of making money, not curing people.

Hospitals aren't the main problem, substitute Big Pharma and you are 100 percent correct.

Abinadom
06-07-2011, 04:17 AM
Thanks for sharing this one posting and have the good one sharing, Cure of HIV is much helpful sharing here.... Keep sharing more one's with all of us....

FAX
06-07-2011, 04:37 AM
I have a question.

Since they know that some people are "immune" to the virus and that immunity can be passed to another person via a bone marrow transplant, why can't they just use the genetic marker from the immune people and create a genetic cure?

FAX

Ebolapox
06-07-2011, 10:55 AM
I have a question.

Since they know that some people are "immune" to the virus and that immunity can be passed to another person via a bone marrow transplant, why can't they just use the genetic marker from the immune people and create a genetic cure?

FAX

did you see my post above? it would require a frankensteinian level of genetic engineering. you think stem cell research is a hot button topic? gene therapy of THAT level would literally bring the anti-scientific advancement crowd to the fucking pulpit with a LOUD roar.

sure, it's theoretically possible. but, we're years off of being able to do something like that, and would it be ethically acceptable? not for me to say.

Ebolapox
06-07-2011, 10:58 AM
Magic Johnson has no trace of HIV much less AIDS now. He must have found a cure~

didn't see this before.

patently false. magic johnson still has HIV--the virions are evident in extremely low levels (hell, even at undetectable levels thanks to the antiviral drug cocktail he's on), but it IS encoded into the genetic code in his dendritic cells, pro macrophage cells and T-helper cells. he will be HIV+ until he dies. he may never progress to having AIDS due to most likely having the CCR5-delta32 mutation (and other possible mutations that we don't know about), but he does, in fact, still have HIV. unfortunately, no cure.

cdcox
06-07-2011, 12:24 PM
the issue is that HIV has an EXTREMELY high mutation rate. even if an antibody worked (and keep in mind, HIV uses reverse transcriptase, an enzyme, to encode itself into T-helper cells and other immune system cells), it would quickly cease to work due to mutations in the genetic code.

The other contributing factor is that a small fraction of the infected cells go latent. So even if the antiretroviral cocktail wipes out the actively replicating viruses and infected cells, there are still cells that can activate later and re-initiate the disease. I would say the mutation rate, combined with the latency together makes this disease so difficult to treat and/or cure.

Bowser
06-07-2011, 01:16 PM
did you see my post above? it would require a frankensteinian level of genetic engineering. you think stem cell research is a hot button topic? gene therapy of THAT level would literally bring the anti-scientific advancement crowd to the fucking pulpit with a LOUD roar.

sure, it's theoretically possible. but, we're years off of being able to do something like that, and would it be ethically acceptable? not for me to say.

This is where I expected the discussion to go. And for the record, I'd be all for it.

Ebolapox
06-07-2011, 01:48 PM
The other contributing factor is that a small fraction of the infected cells go latent. So even if the antiretroviral cocktail wipes out the actively replicating viruses and infected cells, there are still cells that can activate later and re-initiate the disease. I would say the mutation rate, combined with the latency together makes this disease so difficult to treat and/or cure.

precisely. I assumed by mentioning that it encodes itself into the host genome that one would get latency from that. it's part of the viral replication cycle known as the lysogenic cycle (herpes virus is known for this).

Ebolapox
06-07-2011, 01:51 PM
This is where I expected the discussion to go. And for the record, I'd be all for it.

I would be too, but keep in mind that it's likely to cause cancer if the directional mutation isn't extremely precise. at this point, not the easiest of tasks.

cdcox
06-07-2011, 02:15 PM
precisely. I assumed by mentioning that it encodes itself into the host genome that one would get latency from that. it's part of the viral replication cycle known as the lysogenic cycle (herpes virus is known for this).

Theoretically, a virus could code itself into a genome without latency. For example, if every infected cell was lytic (actively producing new viruses) and you effectively prevented new cells from becoming infected through antiretroviral cocktails, you could essentially cure the patient, since the infected cells would soon die off through the action of the virus.

HIV encodes a protein (tat) that positively regulates the expression of HIV genes and keeps most of the cells in the lytic state. If you inhibit this protein expression of HIV genes greatly decreases many more cells go lysogenic (latent). With tat operative (the normal case) only a few cells become lysogenic. But those few cells are what cause the infection to be so hard to cure.

Bowser
06-07-2011, 02:18 PM
I would be too, but keep in mind that it's likely to cause cancer if the directional mutation isn't extremely precise. at this point, not the easiest of tasks.

I'd be in favor of any method to stomp out this disease (and others, actually. I'm not just focused on HIV. There's plenty of diseases that could be potentially cured by the use of stem cell research) by any method available scientifically or ethically.

RedNeckRaider
06-07-2011, 03:31 PM
didn't see this before.

patently false. magic johnson still has HIV--the virions are evident in extremely low levels (hell, even at undetectable levels thanks to the antiviral drug cocktail he's on), but it IS encoded into the genetic code in his dendritic cells, pro macrophage cells and T-helper cells. he will be HIV+ until he dies. he may never progress to having AIDS due to most likely having the CCR5-delta32 mutation (and other possible mutations that we don't know about), but he does, in fact, still have HIV. unfortunately, no cure.

I thought I heard him say he was tested and no levels showed up. Thanks for the explain. No biggie I just wondered why so many get sick and die and he seems fine. Most likely a money deal as I am sure the cocktails (that just seems like the wrong word for the subject) cost big money~

chasedude
06-07-2011, 08:19 PM
I thought I heard him say he was tested and no levels showed up. Thanks for the explain. No biggie I just wondered why so many get sick and die and he seems fine. Most likely a money deal as I am sure the cocktails (that just seems like the wrong word for the subject) cost big money~

Big Pharma loves expensive anti-viral drugs!

Abinadom
06-07-2011, 11:16 PM
Thanks buddy for sharing this one info about the cure of the HIV and the prevention of this one data with all of us...

Ebolapox
06-08-2011, 05:36 PM
Theoretically, a virus could code itself into a genome without latency. For example, if every infected cell was lytic (actively producing new viruses) and you effectively prevented new cells from becoming infected through antiretroviral cocktails, you could essentially cure the patient, since the infected cells would soon die off through the action of the virus.

HIV encodes a protein (tat) that positively regulates the expression of HIV genes and keeps most of the cells in the lytic state. If you inhibit this protein expression of HIV genes greatly decreases many more cells go lysogenic (latent). With tat operative (the normal case) only a few cells become lysogenic. But those few cells are what cause the infection to be so hard to cure.

I'll concede the point, because you're technically correct. it's not NEARLY as simple as that, frankly. immunology is one of those disciplines that makes even the most gifted minds collapse under the weight of all of the possible knowledge. when did you find the time to study HIV with all of the engineering, man? hell, pathogen research is what I'm going into (just got accepted into a Ph.D program to study host-pathogen immunological interaction of Coxiella burnetii, more commonly known as q-fever), and I don't carry more than the broadest set of knowledge about most viruses (except hemorrhagic fevers, but I'm weird that way). guess the net is your friend, eh?

Ebolapox
06-08-2011, 05:37 PM
I thought I heard him say he was tested and no levels showed up. Thanks for the explain. No biggie I just wondered why so many get sick and die and he seems fine. Most likely a money deal as I am sure the cocktails (that just seems like the wrong word for the subject) cost big money~

make no mistake, he DID come out and say he was cured...only to come back a few months later and explain that he WASN'T cured. it can appear that one is cured with the antiviral drug cocktail and/or a few lucy mutations on surface receptors... but no dice, unfortunately. if it were that easy, HIV wouldn't be the issue that it is.

Bowser
06-08-2011, 05:59 PM
Thanks buddy for sharing this one info about the cure of the HIV and the prevention of this one data with all of us...

You got it pal

Ebolapox
06-08-2011, 06:06 PM
I'd be in favor of any method to stomp out this disease (and others, actually. I'm not just focused on HIV. There's plenty of diseases that could be potentially cured by the use of stem cell research) by any method available scientifically or ethically.

I'm of two minds on this... considering the field I'm going into (pathogen research, simply put), I'm obviously all for any and all potential cures... however, it opens a pandora's box when you consider the effect that Homo sapiens has on the planet... we're at (or past) our carrying capacity as far as resources go--if we keep the millions of people alive who die every year due to infectious diseases, our resources dwindle even more (not to MENTION that any cures may not work indefinitely--as much as we try to believe we're the end product of evolution, it's an arms race that has been going on for hundreds of millions of years, that of the host-pathogen interaction). long story short, you have to take the long path on the subject and consider all of the possible outcomes. Does that mean that you don't work your damnedest to rid the world of infectious disease? obviously, you do... but there are consequences that we could never even dream of that may come from something like that.

and yeah--for what it's worth, I'm one of the most PRO stem-cell research guys you'll find.

RedNeckRaider
06-08-2011, 06:53 PM
make no mistake, he DID come out and say he was cured...only to come back a few months later and explain that he WASN'T cured. it can appear that one is cured with the antiviral drug cocktail and/or a few lucy mutations on surface receptors... but no dice, unfortunately. if it were that easy, HIV wouldn't be the issue that it is.

It always confused me and it does anger me that so many suffer and because he has the money it is fairly painless~

Bowser
06-08-2011, 06:56 PM
I'm of two minds on this... considering the field I'm going into (pathogen research, simply put), I'm obviously all for any and all potential cures... however, it opens a pandora's box when you consider the effect that Homo sapiens has on the planet... we're at (or past) our carrying capacity as far as resources go--if we keep the millions of people alive who die every year due to infectious diseases, our resources dwindle even more (not to MENTION that any cures may not work indefinitely--as much as we try to believe we're the end product of evolution, it's an arms race that has been going on for hundreds of millions of years, that of the host-pathogen interaction). long story short, you have to take the long path on the subject and consider all of the possible outcomes. Does that mean that you don't work your damnedest to rid the world of infectious disease? obviously, you do... but there are consequences that we could never even dream of that may come from something like that.

and yeah--for what it's worth, I'm one of the most PRO stem-cell research guys you'll find.

I follow you. Basically what the planet needs is a good culling. Trim the dead branches, as it were. Wait, isn't that what HIV was invented for? [/teedub]

But seriously, we're either going to have to find a better way to live in a more economical sense, or get space travel perfected so we can go fuck up, I mean colonize, another planet.

Ebolapox
06-08-2011, 07:03 PM
I follow you. Basically what the planet needs is a good culling. Trim the dead branches, as it were. Wait, isn't that what HIV was invented for? [/teedub]

But seriously, we're either going to have to find a better way to live in a more economical sense, or get space travel perfected so we can go fuck up, I mean colonize, another planet.

pretty much. the funny thing is, let's look at utopia for a moment... we find a way to eliminate all infectious disease deaths... we find a way to eliminate all deleterious mutations, eliminating cancer. we find a way to treat the developmentally disabled, so nobody is of 'substandard' human stock (no down's, no autism, no mental retardation: raider and bronco fandom decreases to rock bottom in no time). we find a way to increase telomere length and free-radical effects on the intracellular environment, thus making us live thousands if not tens of thousands of years. we find a way to eliminate war, nobody fights over religion or lack thereof, etc. all of the world is the first world, no slums in site. drug abuse is eliminated via genetic intervention.

so, what the fuck do we do for food? how do we decide who gets the precious few resources? in some ways, this scenario is more frightening to me than our current plight. you can ALWAYS improve on the clusterfuck that we have now. there is NO answer for the picture that I painted.

Bowser
06-08-2011, 07:10 PM
pretty much. the funny thing is, let's look at utopia for a moment... we find a way to eliminate all infectious disease deaths... we find a way to eliminate all deleterious mutations, eliminating cancer. we find a way to treat the developmentally disabled, so nobody is of 'substandard' human stock (no down's, no autism, no mental retardation: raider and bronco fandom decreases to rock bottom in no time). we find a way to increase telomere length and free-radical effects on the intracellular environment, thus making us live thousands if not tens of thousands of years. we find a way to eliminate war, nobody fights over religion or lack thereof, etc. all of the world is the first world, no slums in site. drug abuse is eliminated via genetic intervention.

so, what the fuck do we do for food? how do we decide who gets the precious few resources? in some ways, this scenario is more frightening to me than our current plight. you can ALWAYS improve on the clusterfuck that we have now. there is NO answer for the picture that I painted.

I take it you've seen Gattaca?

The scenario you've just thrown out would never work with man today, as man is too selfish and greedy to accept his fellow man (for the most part). If we reach the point scientifically where we CAN eliminate all the things you listed, I'll assume we will have invented a new food source, kind of like that muck they ate in the Matrix. Hell, who knows. Just the fact that they've come up with a viable weapon to combat HIV, and all the advances with gene technology gives me hope for the future. My kid is 15 1/2, and I definitely worry about what teh world will look like 20 or 30 years down the road.

cdcox
06-08-2011, 08:33 PM
I'll concede the point, because you're technically correct. it's not NEARLY as simple as that, frankly. immunology is one of those disciplines that makes even the most gifted minds collapse under the weight of all of the possible knowledge. when did you find the time to study HIV with all of the engineering, man? hell, pathogen research is what I'm going into (just got accepted into a Ph.D program to study host-pathogen immunological interaction of Coxiella burnetii, more commonly known as q-fever), and I don't carry more than the broadest set of knowledge about most viruses (except hemorrhagic fevers, but I'm weird that way). guess the net is your friend, eh?

Our research area over the last 9 years has been the stochastic dynamics of gene expression at the single cell level -- a very mathy area of biology. One of the systems we've studied is the tat positive feedback circuit in HIV. We had one minor paper published on HIV about a year ago, and have a major one about a month away from submission. So I have a *little* first hand knowledge of HIV that I've come by honestly.

Ebolapox
06-08-2011, 08:41 PM
Our research area over the last 9 years has been the stochastic dynamics of gene expression at the single cell level -- a very mathy area of biology. One of the systems we've studied is the tat positive feedback circuit in HIV. We had one minor paper published on HIV about a year ago, and have a major one about a month away from submission. So I have a *little* first hand knowledge of HIV that I've come by honestly.

wow, props. that's freaking badass. I had heard that there was some work being done on that aspect of the field, but honestly, I haven't stayed up so much on that part of the literature.