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Old 06-06-2011, 12:43 PM  
Bowser Bowser is offline
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A cure for HIV?

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_theloo...y-cured-of-hiv
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:45 PM   #2
Simplex3 Simplex3 is offline
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Sweet. Congratulations to that guy. Sucks that he had to get leukemia to cure his AIDS, though.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:46 PM   #3
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Any cure for a lethal disease is a miracle. Here's hoping this one works out and is a viable treatment.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:48 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Simplex3 View Post
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.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:59 PM   #5
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Magic Johnson has no trace of HIV much less AIDS now. He must have found a cure~
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:12 PM   #6
Simplex3 Simplex3 is offline
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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.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:15 PM   #7
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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!
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:16 PM   #8
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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?
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by chasedude View Post
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.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:26 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:43 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:50 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:58 PM   #13
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Magic Johnson has no trace of HIV much less AIDS now. He must have found a cure~
Strange how that works huh?
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:03 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:12 PM   #15
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