|HLA matched bone marrow from HIV non-progressors?
Mar 2, 2001
Dear Doctor: I noticed in the July edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency that an HIV-infected patient has been treated successfully with intensive chemotherapy combined with a bone marrow transplant. The transplant came from an HLA matched sibling. What I'm wondering is whether in the future it may be possible to use HLA matched bone marrow from people who are HIV non-progressors, and or people with one of the two genetic markers for HIV resistance; (CCr4, CXr5). I read that out of 200,000 racially similar candidates, that the odds are 40-50 of finding an HLA matched. It's a big project, but potentially a registry of these categories of HIV resistant individuals willing to donate could be made.
Response from Dr. Dezube
A few years ago, bone marrow transplantation in HIV-infected patients was unthinkable. We will indeed be seeing more and more reports of it. Currently however it remains quite a toxic procedure. Only time will tell how this will pan out in the HIV-infected community. The cancer community is now testing the concept of "mini-transplants"(also known as "Transplant-Lite") which is a less toxic procedure, but equally effective. Science is exciting because it leads to the exploration of new frontiers. Who knows what's in store for HIV'ers??
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