Does Stem Cell Transplant ‘Cure’ HIV?May 02, 2019
It is remarkable how HIV manages to hide in the body.
Out of the millions that suffer from HIV, there have been only two cases where both the patients have been cured of the disease.
While the cases were similar, the time difference between them was huge.
Were the cures a fluke? Is there substantial proof that the therapy will work for the mass?
Find out more in this article.
Most of us are born with a gene known as CCR5. This gene is the gateway for HIV to affect our immune system. On the other hand, it sways the possibility of winning the war against a stroke. There are pros and cons to everything!
As we evolved, so did our genes. And through the evolution, the CCR5 gene mutated itself in such a way that it becomes as good as undetectable. Essentially, it gains the capability of eliminating the gene itself. So guess what? People who carry the mutated gene are immune to the HIV virus!
Cool, right? Well, HIV immunes are also known as the “elite” group of people and can control the virus without taking any sort of medication. The mutated CCR5 gene is capable of naturally suppressing the HIV virus.
For the two success stories mentioned above, they were HIV turned cancer patients, who received stem cells from donors who were carriers of the mutated gene. Researchers believe that the mutated gene is what contained the disease.
There are multiple reasons why stem cell therapy hasn’t worked for many people.
- Our bodies are smarter than us. The immune system attacks anything foreign that enters the body, right? So, naturally, when a foreign immune system is introduced into the patient, the original immune system gets to work and resists the infiltration.
- For a successful transplant, it is crucial that the donor has the same proteins in their blood as the patient. For a heavier term, HLA matched bone marrow is a tough find.
- Luckily if you’re able to find a bone marrow that matches, chances are that the immune system will end up resisting it. If there’s an excessive amount of your cells left, they’ll fight till the end to make sure that the intruder doesn’t survive.
- Since the cure is still research-based, there are some unknown factors that affect the therapy as well. According to research, there is a possibility that the complications during or after the therapy may have helped the patients in surviving. The problem with a guess like this is that imitating the process is impossible. So the outcome is substantially a wild card.
Now, stem cell therapy was used to cure cancer in both patients. The first patient was a man named Timothy Ray Brown, an American who got the therapy in Germany. And then a British man becomes the second person ever to be ‘cured’ of HIV after a stem cell transplant.
HIV patients most often take pills that help to contain the virus. If the drug is discontinued at any point in life, the HIV virus becomes active within a span of two to three weeks. This infection could cause death in some cases. For the patient from Britain, he stopped taking the drug right after the therapy, without any repercussions.
For patients that suffer from cancer and HIV, stem cell could be the last resort, their last hope for survival. For the larger group that only suffers from HIV, the therapy is not as useful.
What makes the whole situation compelling is that if a patient suffers from cancer that is at a later stage, something that will kill them eventually, the stem cell therapy is the best cure possible. Not to be disrespectful, but if the patient suffers from HIV, it would be cherry on top. The research could be fueled by such people.
In certain situations, when the patients stopped taking the pill, the HIV virus did not activate. This made people wonder if the drugs had actually cured the patient. Unluckily, the virus reappeared. For another set of patients, after going off the pills, the virus sprung back but was controlled naturally by their bodies.
In the end, it would be safe to say that the studies and researches that are being carried on have been extremely helpful. Every bit of research lights up hopes in millions that suffer from HIV.
And although it may take time to use stem cell therapy in curing HIV, it can still be applied in various other areas:
- Healing Injured Tissues and Tendons
Stem cell regenerative therapy offers you cutting-edge treatment that can allow you to once again live your life to the fullest. Get it solved with bone marrow stem cell treatment from Regen America. With our Stem Cell Regenerative Therapy, you can live the life you want to live again. Visit our website now to book an appointment, now.