In 2007, Timothy Brown and his doctors made history when he was the first person to have HIV completely eradicated from his body. This was made possible due, in part, to a risky procedure called a bone-marrow transplant which has given Brown the ability to live HIV free to this day. Doctors claim they were recently able to replicate this procedure for another patient.
The patient, simply identified as “The London Patient,” was diagnosed in 2003 with HIV. In 2012, the patient was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma which led to a stem-cell transplant after other standard procedures failed.
The idea behind this procedure was to kill off his old immune system and give him a new one, according to NPR. Ironically enough, bone-marrow transplants are typically given to cancer patients to treat the disease and are also a dangerous procedure that can come with many side effects.
In the two successful cases, scientist looked for donors who had a particular mutated gene that prevents HIV from attacking the T-cells. The two men have both had an immune system that HIV didn’t affect.
Those responsible for this monumental moment have announced they will be publishing their report on the patient no later than March 5th. The scientists will also speak at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, in Seattle later this year, Unilad reported.
While other scientists may be looking at this as a be-all-cure, those who are issuing the report look at it more as a “long-term solution.” After 18 months of treatment, “The London Patient” has not gone back into remission and shows no signs of HIV.
“The London Patient,” who does not wish to have his name released, told the New York Times: “I feel a sense of responsibility to help the doctors understand how it happened so they can develop the science. I never thought that there would be a cure during my lifetime.”
Perhaps this will push other scientists and doctors to search for answers to other illnesses and diseases also thought to be impossible to cure.