a new patient in remission after bone marrow transplant

Home a new patient in remission after bone marrow transplant
Written by Doug Hampton

This is the sixth patient in remission, after a transplant whose method differed from previous ones.

He is referred to as “the patient of Geneva”, because he received treatment in Switzerland. A man is now the sixth person to be in long-term remission while living with the HIV virus since the early 1990s.

It was in Brisbane (Australia), before the opening of the Conference of the International AIDS Society, that his case was presented today.

A renewed immune system

All the patients had a blood cancer in common, and received a transplant from Only all the donors presented a rare mutation of a gene that did not allow the entry of HIV into the cells.

But in the case of the “patient from Geneva”, here is what differed: in 2018 he received a stem cell transplant to fight an aggressive form of leukemia. Only here with the given cells, HIV was able to replicate, without the mutation therefore.

An undetectable virus

But even with a different technique, the virus remains undetectable 20 months after the interruption of antiretroviral treatment in this patient who is being monitored at the University Hospitals of Geneva, in collaboration with the Institut Pasteur, the Institut Cochin and the international consortium IciStem.

And gradually, his antiviral treatment was reduced before being definitively interrupted in November 2021.

A patient under close surveillance

But as long as this long remission is “encouraging”the presence of“a single virion (an infectious viral particle, editor’s note) can cause the virus to rebound”warned Sharon Lewin, who heads the International AIDS Society Conference.

This patient “will have to be watched closely over the next few months, if not years. The probability of a rebound is impossible to predict”, he adds. And then, it must be remembered that such a transplant is not accepted by all organisms, by all profiles of carriers of the HIV virus.

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