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Possible AIDS/HIV Breakthrough

By Wolfman456 - Posted on 13 November 2008

Yahoo News

I saw this artical on Yahoo News and I'm excited now. If it's possible to cure AIDS like that, we might be able to stop this academic. 

Wolf, do you mean "stop this epidemic?" 

If we had wanted to stop academics, we would have voted for the McCain/Palin ticket.  tee hee


LOL --  I automatically read epidemic and didn't notice until you mentioned it.
Marrow transplant is not really a viable option, but it may help with finding new ways in the future.
Why isn't it a viable option?
You just can't do it at a large enough scale, and about 30-40% don't survive the surgery.

I have to respectfully disagree peter.  Bone marrow transplants have come a long way, and is almot routine in many hospitals.  The death rate is much lower, even in cancer patients who have been undergoing chemo.

There is also a process used with some cancer patients in which their own marrow is harvested, then "cleansed" of cancer cells, and transplanted back into the patient.  I wonder if this could be applied to HIV/AIDS as well.

"Caveats are legion. If enough time passes, the extraordinarily protean HIV might evolve to overcome the mutant cells' invulnerability. Blocking CCR5 might have side effects: A study suggests that people with the mutation are more likely to die from West Nile virus. Most worrisome: The transplant treatment itself, given only to late-stage cancer patients, kills up to 30% of patients. While scientists are drawing up research protocols to try this approach on other leukemia and lymphoma patients, they know it will never be widely used to treat AIDS because of the mortality risk."

Even if they solve the transplant problem, you're not going to be able to apply this to the millions of infected people in the 3rd world.  

It's a lead, and I'm cautiously optimistic.

If it doesn't pan out, then we are no worse off than we were before. Or it may lead to other leads. That's the way these things work.

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

Problem with bone marrow transplants:

  • If you survive, it leaves your immune system very weak - a common cold can kill you.  (Had someone in our church die of that very thing.  He was 6 months out of treatment, got a head cold, died 3 weeks later.) 
  • Typically destroys your tear ducts because of the intense radiation.  Patient is on tear drops for the rest of life.  Can also damage saliva glands.
  • Requires immuno-suppressant drugs for life.  Unless donor is a family member, patient typically changes blood type.  Kidneys, liver, etc. don't like mixing it up ... new blood sees old organs as enemies.
  • COST - back in 1989 when it was the treatment that "might" save my wifes life, it cost $120,000+ at the well funded research hospital.  It can only have gotten more expensive.

Basically, bone marrow transplants are the option of last resort.  The only thing worse than the treatment is actually dying. 

Now, I do find it very interesting that this seems to have cured the HIV/AIDS.  I think it is a great data point and will probably lead to more discoveries.  Do they have to do a full kill off, or will a 50% - 75% dose of the radiation do the trick?  It will be interesting to follow the research going forward.


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