Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bone Marrow Transplant Cured AIDS?

BBC News reports that a patient suffering from AIDS and leukemia shows no signs of AIDS infection after receiving a bone marrow transplant from an AIDS-resistant donor.

He had been infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, that causes Aids, for more than a decade and also had leukaemia.

The clinic said since the transplant was carried out 20 months ago, tests on the patient's bone marrow, blood and other organ tissues have all been clear.

In a statement, Professor Rodolf Tauber from the Charite clinic said: "This is an interesting case for research.

"But to promise to millions of people infected with HIV that there is hope of a cure would not be right."

Like many of you, I am skeptical about the long-term efficacy of this treatment and am concerned about the social justice challenges presented should this be determined to be a cure. But this story is valuable for the new direction it offers to medical research; while many researchers focus on preventing the virus from propagating, introducing genetics and possibly retroviruses opens up more possibilities. By pursuing all available angles of this crisis, we increase our chances of finding that elusive cure to this global epidemic.

No comments: