An HIV-infected patient may have been cured of HIV
infection 3.5 years after receiving stem cell transplantation, according to
researchers from Charité – University Medicine Berlin.
The researchers previously reported the likelihood of
hematopoietic stem cell transplantation with CCR5D32/D32 donor cells in the
HIV-infected patient with relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) — missing
viremia were documented within the first 20 months of remission. Yet, it was
not certain whether or not the patient was cured of HIV infection.
For the current study, the researchers set out to
examine whether CD4+ T cells were restored, whether or not the patient’s
immune system had HIV-susceptible target cells, and to identify the size of the
HIV-reservoir during immune reconstitution after transplantation.
The patient had a relapse of AML 13 months after initial
transplant; he then underwent a second round of chemotherapy followed by
another stem cell transplant from the original donor. ART was stopped at the
time of the original stem cell transplant, according to the researchers.
Compared with 10 patients without HIV who underwent stem
cell transplantation (controls), mucosal CD4+ T-cell count were normalized and
HIV remained undetectable in the one patient previously infected with HIV.
Further, the size of the potential HIV reservoir decreased during 3.5 years
follow-up, according to the researchers.
“Our results show, that systemic recovery of CD4+ T
cells following CCR5D32/D32 stem cell transplant and discontinuation of ART was
not impaired when compared to that of stem cell transplant control
patients,” the researchers wrote. “From these results, it is
reasonable to conclude that cure of HIV infection has been achieved in this