Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Berlin man CURED of HIV

hat-tip: Gizmodo

You may wish to take note of your immediate surroundings, as this may end up being one of those "where were you when _____?" dates. Doctors in Germany have, evidently, cured a man of HIV.

The technique? In brief, they obliterated his entire immune system with chemotherapy, they replaced it with a new one using stem cells from a donor who had been born with nigh-total immunity to HIV. It's a radical procedure, which most patients don't survive, but this guy did.

I was in my house, editing a video, incidentally.

13 comments:

Nick said...

So, how long before the wingnuts start whining that we're going against "God's Will" by curing the homosexuality-related disease?

Adam said...

I'd read about this already, and while it seems it will only work very specific instances at the moment that is an amazing acheivement.

Khaki Hat said...

The whole thing seemed a lot of "no duh" to me when I read it. Whats that? Your immunize system is fighting against you? Just give it a reboot. What? Its not that simple? Nobody is going to the science for it cause it would really fskn hurt?

Ok.

Still, nice to see somebody take the plunge and pain to recover from AIDS. Damned thing has been killing people far too long, its time for a success story. How is a gay man supposed to suffer hell if hes alredy been there? /sarcasm

Clayton said...

I was playing Valkyria Chronicles 2. Stem cell research has done some pretty interesting things. Like one case where a team of doctors basically made a woman a new esophagus without any rejection due to sucking the cells out in a vacuum.

Q said...

@Khaki Hat

You have the mind of an engineer and not a biologist.

http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1879#comic

RarestRX said...

Nick,

You know what the Wingnuts are saying?

We fucking TOLD you adult stem cells is where it's at, not embryonic.

72+ adult stem cell therapies vs. a big fuckin' goose egg for embryonic.

Alexander said...

I remember, a few years ago, there was a case very similar to this. What it did was cure AIDS, but not HIV. It involved a bone-marrow transplant from a man with a resistance to HIV to a man with AIDS. The man has not had AIDS, since, but still carries HIV, because it's a virus and they always stay in your system.
There was also an article about the same time that linked resistance to HIV with genetic ties to people that survived Black Plague infection.

Smashmatt202 said...

I just heard about this from my Biology professor this morning...

But why are you bringing it up?

jameshayes said...

@Smashmatt

It's a very, very important moment in science, and i'm sure will stand as a very important moment in all of medical history.

Smashmatt202 said...

Yeah, that's true. It's kind of like 9/11, I didn't realize just how important or how much of an impact it will have when it first happened, but now people will look back, thinking about what they were doing when such an even occured.

Kysafen said...

I just love how people are treating this and NASA's discovery of arsenic-based lifeforms passively, as if to say "oh hey cool story bro". Christian fundamentalists will still proceed to slam stem cell research, people on the internet are going to lash out at NASA because a meaningful scientific discovery isn't their wet dream "first contact" fantasy, and the world is going to come to an end with me- someone who takes these events as they should be- suffering as a result.

Pat said...

@Alexander

It was the same case that you remember. The stem cells came from the bone marrow. This is an old story, it just didn't get any coverage until Gizmodo found out about it the other day, and then they posted it like it was big breaking news. It's one of those stories where you hear about it and assume that since it's such a big deal that it must be new, otherwise you would have heard about it before. Actually, no. This happened over a year ago and nobody heard about it. I read it on Digg, but that's not exactly mainstream media.

The man does still carry HIV, he's just resistant to its effects now, so he no longer has AIDS. He's still fighting leukemia though, last I checked.

And yeah, the immunity comes from the same genetic immunity that plague survivors had. Basically, if you can trace your lineage back to that time and place in history, there's a chance you might have the same immunity. If you can and you're curious, you could probably send your DNA to one of those places that looks for specifically mapped genes to find out if you're immune, in which case, set yourself up as an organ donor.

Actually, if you think about it, the HIV-resistant people are a bit of a problem when it comes to getting rid of AIDS, because they can carry the virus their whole lives and never know it, spreading it around from person to person.

Chris said...

Walter Bishop would have found a cure way before this.