Anorak News | Stem-cell transplant rids man of AIDS

Stem-cell transplant rids man of AIDS

by | 5th, March 2019

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A stem-cell transplant has rid a patient of AIDS. Tests showed HIV is no longer detected in the patient’s body. The man was being treated for cancer. The BBC reports:

The male London patient, who has not been named, was diagnosed with HIV in 2003 and advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2012. He had chemotherapy to treat the Hodgkin’s cancer and, in addition, stem cells were implanted into the patient from a donor resistant to HIV, leading to both his cancer and HIV going into remission.

Cancer and HIV – a link?

HIV can cause Kaposi Sarcoma, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, and one type of eye cancer.  It can also play a role in a number of other cancers. These include Hodgkin Lymphoma, cervical cancer and anal cancer.
Only 1 in 1000 cases of cancer in the UK are caused by HIV. This is partly because eye cancer and Kaposi sarcoma are very rare cancers in the UK. But virtually all cases of Kaposi sarcoma occur in people who have HIV.
People with HIV who develop AIDS are at higher risk of cancer than those who do not.

How can HIV cause cancer?

HIV infects and kills T-cells. T-cells are part of our immune system. They can usually destroy cells infected with cancer-causing viruses. This immune response can help to clear the infection before cancer can develop.

People with HIV have fewer T cells, so they can’t fight infections as easily. Viruses like Kaposi’s Sarcoma Herpes Virus (KSHV), Human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Human papillomavirus (HPV) can then cause cells to grow and divide out of control. This can lead to cancer.

Some way to go until cancer is cured, but we’re getting there.

Posted: 5th, March 2019 | In: News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink