I have been regularly reporting on the breakthroughs in the use of adult stem cells to help find treatments & cures. I have also regularly pointed out how embryonic stem cells have only offered pie-in-the-sky promises at best & more problems, like tumors, at worst.
But the latest news to come out about adult stem cell research is the potential cure of AIDS using adult stem cell therapy. Last Thursday at the AIDS 2012 Conference in Washington, DC, researchers announced
that two HIV-positive men have been found to be HIV-free following bone marrow transplants. The researchers believe that giving bone marrow transplants, which by nature involve the use of adult stem cells, to patients undergoing anti-retroviral therapy could potentially cure the AIDS-causing virus.
According to one of the researchers studying the two men, Dr. Timothy Henrich, “We expected HIV to vanish from the patients’ plasma, but it is surprising that we can’t find any traces of HIV in their cells. It suggests that under the cover of anti-retroviral therapy, the cells that repopulated the patient’s immune system appear to be protected from becoming re-infected with HIV.” Naturally, time will tell how successful this treatment is.
The results have similarities to the case of Timothy Ray Brown, known as “the Berlin patient,” who claims
he continues to be cured of HIV after receiving a transplant of cells found to have a genetic mutations making them HIV-resistant.
As I said, time will tell, but it does look very promising. & it is just more proof that adult stem cells offer real hope, not just empty promises. In this case it is real hope for those who have AIDS, from children born with it to adults.
Labels: Stem Cell Research