German researchers who used a bone marrow transplant to treat a cancer patient with the AIDS virus, have declared him cured of the virus. The patient, who had both HIV infection and leukemia, received the bone marrow transplant in 2007 from a donor who had a genetic mutation known to give patients a natural immunity to the virus.
Nearly four years after the transplant, the patient is free of the virus and it does not appear to be hiding anywhere in his body, Thomas Schneider of Berlin Charite hospital and colleagues said. “Our results strongly suggest that cure of HIV has been achieved in this patient,” they wrote in the journal Blood.
AIDS researchers have rejected the approach on any kind of scale for patients with HIV. A bone marrow transplant is a last-ditch treatment for cancers such as leukemia.