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German Doctor Cures an HIV Patient With a Bone Marrow Transplant

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the not-an-easy-one-though dept.

Medicine 639

reporter writes "HIV is the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Until now, HIV has no cure and has led to the deaths of over 25 million people. However, a possible cure has appeared. Dr. Gero Hutter, a brilliant physician in Germany, replaced the bone marrow of an HIV patient with the bone marrow of a donor who has natural immunity to HIV. The new bone marrow in the patient then produced immune-system cells that are immune to HIV. Being unable to hijack any immune cell, the HIV has simply disappeared. The patient has been free of HIV for about 2 years. Some physicians at UCLA have developed a similar therapy and plan to commercialize it."

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Like to see this replicated (5, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695001)

I'll be really interested to see if this result can be replicated.

Re:Like to see this replicated (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695035)

I'll be really interested to see if this result can be replicated.

I'll be really interested to see if this DONOR can be replicated.

Re:Like to see this replicated (5, Informative)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695097)

I'll be really interested to see if this result can be replicated.

I'll be really interested to see if this DONOR can be replicated.

I've been expecting something like this ever since the discovery of HIV-immune [wired.com] individuals. So yes, the donor can be replicated.

Re:Like to see this replicated (4, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695353)

One thing I've been wondering about is whether it would be possible to fight infection just by making a protein that binds to CCR5 and does nothing else. I'm presuming that HIV can't attach to the receptor if there's something in the way.

Would any molecular biologist reading this please tell me if this works or not?

-jcr

Re:Like to see this replicated (3, Interesting)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695405)

That's how some of the new drug treatments for HIV work. The article mentions them. Are you suggesting a form of genetic treatment where you don't remove the surface protein from existing cells but add more cells that produce blocking drugs?

Re:Like to see this replicated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695177)

clones

Re:Like to see this replicated (4, Interesting)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695103)

With the severely limited number of people with known immunity to HIV, and the pain of removing bone marrow, I'm wondering if more than a mere handful of people can be treated via this method.

Re:Like to see this replicated (4, Interesting)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695189)

Couldn't the recipients, who will generate the new bone marrow, then be used as donors?

Re:Like to see this replicated (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695223)

Yes, in time.

Re:Like to see this replicated (4, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695249)

Right now, there's a ban on selling organs for donation in this country. However, bone marrow transplants are expensive. If the recipient could later be used as a donor, the ability to pay them for their marrow (thus allowing them to more easily pay for the original transplant) could really help move this thing along. Even if a marrow recipient is reluctant to donate his own marrow, if he had a very large medical bill and was offered money to donate, he would be much more likely to do so.

Of course, given the limited number of naturally HIV-immune people in existence today, it would drive up the price of a transplant in the short term as they demand high prices for their marrow, but in the long run it would even out as we create more HIV-immune people.

Re:Like to see this replicated (5, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695335)

On the contrary, bone marrow transplants are the cheapest transplants.

In essence, bone marrow transplantation is just an intravenous injection.

Re:Like to see this replicated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695407)

1. Read
2. Comprehend
3. Think
4. Post
5. ???
6. Profit!

If you're going to skip steps 2 and 3 how are you ever going to figure out what step 5 is?

Re:Like to see this replicated (2, Insightful)

jopsen (885607) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695409)

Yes, cause using medical bills to force people to donate organs is a real great idea...

Personally I don't get your medical system, it sure isn't ethically responsible. Makes me glade to be a European...

Re:Like to see this replicated (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695253)

I.e., "commercialized" means "the hundred or so that we will ever be able to do will cost a $billion each."

Re:Like to see this replicated (1)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695291)

Better a hundred people at a billion each than zero for free.

Re:Like to see this replicated (1)

cHALiTO (101461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695399)

Even better is a billion for free.

Re:Like to see this replicated (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695403)

After the hundred, there will be zero.

What will you say then? "I got mine!"?

Re:Like to see this replicated (1)

$random_var (919061) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695423)

A hundred people at a billion each when most of that billion will be publicly funded (with universities handing off the final stages of research to corporations, thus allowing them to get the patents) is unimportant. I know these aren't real numbers here, but there are opportunity costs - we could save many more people with that money.

HOWEVER, if treating the first hundred people in an encumbered and exorbitantly expensive corporate and regulatory framework later allows us to make the operation cheap and widely available - then bravo! The true genius of capitalism is when we are able to bridge a huge gulf by using the promise of high short-term profits. Too often corporations, which have different incentives, choose to bridge the gulf as slowly as possible and attempt to extract monopoly or cartel profits.

I do have a question though - I'm no physician, but I know that bone marrow transplants have been around for a long time. I think we know the basic idea of how to make them work by now. Is this really going to be something that requires all *that* much effort and money to perfect?

Re:Like to see this replicated (5, Interesting)

DebateG (1001165) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695287)

I think the end goal is to use this method for autologous stem cell transplant (when the donor is the same as the recipient) rather than allogeneic (when the donor is different). Currently, there are technologies such as small interfering RNA (siRNA) that let you suppress a specific gene through genetic engineering. They are widely used in research, although there are many hurdles before they make the transition to clinical use. It would go something like this:
  1. Draw out someone's own stem cells
  2. Permanently express the CCR5 siRNA in their stem cells by culturing them with a virus
  3. Wipe the person's bone marrow out by total body irradiation
  4. Reinfuse the altered stem cells

The advantage of this method is that, since the stem cells are coming from your own body, there is no graft vs host disease (which is essentially like standard organ rejection, but instead the organ rejected is your entire body being rejected by the graft... you can imagine that this is very bad). Of course, you still have the problem of developing leukemia later from the total body irradiation and viral integration into an important gene. You also have a high risk of death upfront when you spend several weeks without a functional immune system when the transplant is taking. But nevertheless, it's exciting.

Re:Like to see this replicated (1)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695303)

This is less important as a potential cure through transplant than a proof of concept that if you can alter genetically alter the production of immune cells at the level of bone marrow you can suppress HIV indefinitely without drugs.

1 percent of northern Europeans (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695313)

And peoples descended from them, [wired.com] are immune, smaller percentages from central asia.

Re:Like to see this replicated (3, Informative)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695359)

I seem to recall a lecturer visiting my hometown's community college and giving a genetics lecture. During the lecture he claimed that the plague caused a lot of people with the CCR5 receptor that HIV attacks to die off (the plague also attacks CCR5, allegedly), thus creating a non-trivial population of northwestern Europeans who are immune to HIV.

What's the current status of this theory? Google returns quite a few hits, but as I'm not a geneticist, and technically haven't taken a biology class in 13 years, I'm not that qualified to filter out bunk.

German hospitals do not have affirmative action. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695119)

This accomplishment of Gero Hutter justifies the termination of affirmative action. If Hutter had been denied his job at a German hospital in favor of an African candidate (from Africa) who just barely passed the already lowered hurdle to enter medical school, then this amazing HIV cure would never have been discovered.

Fortunately Germany -- and the rest of Europe -- does not have affirmative action or other forms of race-based quota. So, a person like Gero Hutter can thrive and contribute effectively to society.

Gero Hutter is a true genius. He is a true messiah, unlike the fraud who won the presidential race in the American elections on November 4. Barack Hussein Obama favors affirmative action.

The quota-loving, White-hating, racist-to-the-core Black community gave 95% of the Black vote to Obama.

John McCain should have won the election. He was defeated by the racist voting pattern of the African-American community. Look at the CNN statistics [cnn.com] .

95% of African-Americans voted for Obama.

If African-Americans did not vote on the basis of race, their percentage of support for Obama would have been 64.5%, at most. Asian and Hispanic support for Obama hovered around 64.5%. Neither Asians nor Hispanics used skin color in choosing a candidate. If 64.5% of African-Americans supported Obama, then McCain would have received 49.77% of the popular vote, and Obama would have received 49.23% of the popular vote. Obama would have lost.

Anti-white racism in the African-American community is ugly.

At this point, Afro supremacists claim that there is no racism since African-Americans typically vote for the Democratic candidates.

However, even when 2 Democratic candidates present nearly identical policies and positions, the African-Americans flock to the candidate whose skin color is black. For example, more than 90% of African-Americans supported Obama instead of Hillary Clinton even though both candidates are Democrats and both candidates presented nearly identical policies and positions.

Consider the case of North Carolina. In its Democratic primary, 91% of African-Americans voted for Obama due to the color of his skin. Check out the results [cnn.com] of the Democratic primary in North Carolina.

By contrast, Hillary Clinton received only 7% of the African-American votes. She was handicapped by her white skin.

You will hear and read plenty of articles, written by African-Americans, defending this racist method of voting.

We should agree with them. I encourage everyone to vote on the basis of skin color. If you are White, Asian, or Hispanic, then you should always vote against the Black candidate.

30% mortality rate (2, Insightful)

slashing1 (818431) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695347)

The article mentions that the mortality rate from this procedure is 30%, which precludes widespread replication as it is only used in late-stage cancer patients. Thus, while the CCR5 mutation is promising, they need another method (besides bone marrow transplant) to deliver the therapy. This leads to gene therapy, but that has other issues (such as causing leukemia as a side effect).

Re:Like to see this replicated (2, Insightful)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695349)

This is common sense to anyone with an ounce of common knowledge. There are communities and individuals all over Europe that are naturally immune ot HIV due to a mutation of the receptor on white blood cells that HIV latches onto. Common sense would tell you that hey! remove the infected patient's bone marrow, and give him bone marrow from a person who is immune to HIV. This isn't a discovery at all, it's merely the application of a common procedure in a very sensible way.

Still no cure for cancer. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695011)

"But after the transplant, HIV disappeared from the patient's blood. The patient died of his cancer 47 days after the procedure. "

Re:Still no cure for cancer. (1)

Blade (1720) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695063)

That was from a previous case,

"In 1989, Dr. Rossi had a case eerily similar to the one in Berlin ..."

not this case.

Re:Still no cure for cancer. (1)

Krigl (1025293) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695419)

Even then, the first man with transplanted heart also died several days after the operation (pneumonia, if I recall correctly), yet it didn't stop heart transplantation from becoming kind of "routine".

So you need immune bone marrow? (4, Insightful)

Krupuk (978265) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695023)

Is there a way to create or replicate this bone marrow? Or will this immune donor be continually used for every AIDS patient in the world? How many natural immune donors are there? I think only a few. But still interesting.

Re:So you need immune bone marrow? (3, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695109)

Bone marrow replicates itself. You can keep digging it out of the same person's bone, or out of someone who receives it.

Though I've heard this procedure is quite painful, breaking into bones to dig out (or stuff in) marrow.

Re:So you need immune bone marrow? (2, Interesting)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695125)

Any hope of putting the marrow into a petri dish and growing more?

Re:So you need immune bone marrow? (1)

macklin01 (760841) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695205)

Any hope of putting the marrow into a petri dish and growing more?

Isolating the haematopoietic stem cells [wikipedia.org] would probably help, but I'm not sure how long they survive in extended culture conditions.

Re:So you need immune bone marrow? (4, Informative)

DebateG (1001165) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695351)

Well, there are two problems with this. Firstly, hematopoietic stem cells don't last very long in culture. Lots of people are trying to figure out why, but I'm not optimistic that this problem will be solved any time soon since the cells normally exist in a complex microenvironment in the marrow that we don't really understand yet. But more importantly is the issue of MHC typing. While you need someone who has the CCR5 mutation (which is pretty rare), you also need to have someone who matches your MHC type. Think of MHC as the molecules that allow your body to identify self from non-self. The more MHC matches you have with the donor, the less chance you have of developing a life-threatening disorder called graft vs. host disease. Ideally, doctors want someone related to you, but if those people don't match, you have to do an unrelated donor search. Generally, finding a MHC match requires a large registry search that takes weeks to months to carry out, and many people, especially non-whites (due to the lack of representation of those elasticities in the bank), do not have a match.

Re:So you need immune bone marrow? (5, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695179)

Is there a way to create or replicate this bone marrow? Or will this immune donor be continually used for every AIDS patient in the world?

It's not quite as simple as that. As I understand it, there are different bone marrow types - just like you get different blood types - and for a transplant to be successful, you want to be transferring to someone with the same type. So for every HIV+ patient, you need to find a donor who is not only of the right type, but is also naturally immune.

Conditional recipients could also be donors? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695225)

Seems to me that, to start with, you'd need at least one sample of marrow from the different blood-types (I think marrow-types and blood-types are pretty much related, marrow creating blood and all). Once you have that, you can transplant recipients. Once the recipient is clean and (presumably again) their own marrow is making antibodies, the recipient could become a donor.

So maybe if every recipient had to legally become a donor after being HIV-free (and free of other diseases that could transfer through marrow/blood), then the resistant marrow could then be produced and distributed almost exponentially...

Re:So you need immune bone marrow? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695239)

Everyone it's transplanted into becomes one.

Re:So you need immune bone marrow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695251)

So the original donor ends up as J D Shapely? (Virtual Light)

Re:So you need immune bone marrow? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695275)

How many natural immune donors are there?

That's a good question. Most people never get tested and those who do and are negative wouldn't normally be assumed to be negative specifically because they are immune to the virus. Seems like it would take a more or less unusual case, such as a person heavily exposed to the virus and not infected and then someone gets curious as to why. I wonder if there are many more cases of natural immunity than reported.

Re:So you need immune bone marrow? (1)

Faux_Pseudo (141152) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695317)

One in ten people of European ancestry is immune to HIV. It seems that it came from the selective pressure of the plauge. Of course the odds of HIV+ Africans finding a compatable marrow doner aren't that great. But this could still lead to a cure for them too. This proves that treating the marrow can treat starve the virus. All we have to do is wait the praverbial 20-50 years for medical science to pull that off.

found the missing second to last step! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695025)

1) Be born with natural HIV immunity.
2) Sell bone marrow to desperate people.
3) Profit!

Is it for real this time? (1, Interesting)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695029)

Over the years, I've witnessed probably 640 articles on a cure for HIV either having been discovered, or very near.

So before I get all excited and start fucking everything that moves without a condom, is this for real? Or is this another one of those "cures for a small number (eg, 1) of patients, and cannot be turned into a general cure or vaccine for all?

Re:Is it for real this time? (3, Funny)

maugle (1369813) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695055)

Sure, it's real. You just have to find someone who's immune to HIV, and then take his bone marrow. Easy!

Re:Is it for real this time? (5, Funny)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695091)

I am not aware of anything that would require a condom for its movement.

Re:Is it for real this time? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695363)

Mrs. White: He was deranged. He was a lunatic. He didn't seem to like me very much - he had threatened to kill me in public....
Miss Scarlett: Why would he want to kill you in public?
Wadsworth: I think she means he threatened, in public, to kill her.

Re:Is it for real this time? (5, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695121)

Over the years, I've witnessed probably 640 articles on a cure for HIV either having been discovered, or very near.

Well, 640 articles should be enough for anyone.

Re:Is it for real this time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695127)

Over the years, I've witnessed probably 640 articles on a cure for HIV either having been discovered, or very near.

And 640 articles oughta be enough for everyone, right?

Re:Is it for real this time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695157)

640 cures ought to be enough for anyone.

Re:Is it for real this time? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695367)

AC wins the thread. Congratulations.

-jcr

Re:Is it for real this time? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695191)

The article states it clearly - 30% mortality rate plus you have to find a donor.

Re:Is it for real this time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695281)

Due to the lack of available donors, this will be only for that set of HIV positive people who also happen to be obscenely rich. It won't help the poor people with HIV one iota. Now, if they can figure out a way to inexpensively clone the marrow - then it could help more people. However, even then - a bone marrow transplant is not a small procedure and requires irradiating your existing marrow to kill it, etc. A costly procedure.

movie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695031)

This sounds alot like the movie "I am legend"

Re:movie? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695113)

This sounds alot like the movie "I am legend"

Which itself sounded a lot like the book "I Am Legend".

hooray! (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695039)

Using a condom kills the spontaneity of getting fucked up the ass by a complete stranger at airport bathrooms.

Re:hooray! (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695129)

Using a condom kills the spontaneity of getting fucked up the ass by a complete stranger at airport bathrooms.

Larry Craig? (I assume Larry Bagina would be your incognito name?)

Re:hooray! (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695131)

Yeah, because clearly only gay men contract HIV and obviously the only way that gay men hook up is anonymously in airport bathrooms.

Re:hooray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695415)

You mean its not? Damn, I been waiting here at LAX for over 3 hours now...

What I'd like to know is... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695049)

Are there any tests to find out who has natural immunity to HIV?

And on a related note, how much can such a person expect to get for their bone marrow?

Is this immune bone marrow replicatable via stem cells?

Re:What I'd like to know is... (1)

DKP (1029142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695115)

don't know about the first question but nothin in the US as blood is considered part of he body and cannot be legaly sold.

Re:What I'd like to know is... (1)

wittnate (1088329) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695217)

Perhaps, but by the same token there is nothing requiring individuals to donate either, hence plasma donation centers offering money for donations. Likewise, sperm banks often offer payment, and if a woman is willing to sell an egg, she can expect upwards of 10k plus medical costs for her troubles.

Re:What I'd like to know is... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695247)

You don't know much about the second question either. Two words:

Plasma donor.

Re:What I'd like to know is... (5, Informative)

dogberto (102257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695207)

Yeah there is...

Currently, the theory is that HIV immunity is provided by a mutation of the CCR5 receptor. In particular, it seems to provide an immunity also to the bubonic plague--it is as a result of the bubonic plague that this recessive mutation has manifested itself today in somewhat greater numbers in certain populations--natural selection, so to speak at work.

check out:
http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/news/2005/01/66198
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CCR5

Re:What I'd like to know is... (2, Informative)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695241)

Bone marrow is full of stem cells which is kind of the point which is why the technical term is Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_marrow_transplant [wikipedia.org]

Re:What I'd like to know is... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695269)

And on a related note, how much can such a person expect to get for their bone marrow?

Lack of available donors may mean that volunteers need to be conscripted. Children 12 and up should be screened in order to save the gay community that has been dying from HIV/AIDS all these years.

Thankfully we'll soon have a president who might do this.

Peer review (2, Interesting)

FeatureBug (158235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695051)

The Wall Street Journal is a fine newspaper, but it is not a scientifically peer-reviewed journal. I'd wait and see what the peer review process decides about this proposed treatment. It would not be the first time that a "revolutionary" treatment has failed to prove itself in peer review.

Re:Peer review (1)

SoundGuyNoise (864550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695111)

The WSJ is simply reporting the story. According to the article, it was already presented to Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections and to the Foundation for AIDS Research.

Germans (1)

Atheose (932144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695073)

Good job Germans, bring that karma back up to about neutral!

All joking aside, this could be an amazing breakthrough if it could be commercialized. And since when have people been "HIV Immune"? I've never heard of that shit.

Re:Germans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695167)

There was some Scottish guy who doctors said was immune to HIV a few years ago. It was some freak thing that they said one in a million people might have. Don't know what they've learned about it since then.

Re:Germans (1)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695169)

There are some people that are immune to the disease, however the incidence of immunity is very low. Here is a linky start if you want to check it out. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/10/4/l_104_06.html [pbs.org]

Re:Germans (2, Informative)

Atheose (932144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695201)

Yeah, after reading the article from the original post I did a bit of research on it myself--apparently 1% of all Europeans have this CCR5 mutation? The bad news: about 30% of people who get bone marrow transplants don't survive the procedure, and the CCR5 mutation makes it more likely for them to die of other things lik West Nile Virus.

In any case, this is wonderful news for the scientific community. Even if this doesn't amount to anything it's still a breakthrough that could help piece together the overall picture. Exciting news.

Re:Germans (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695171)

And since when have people been "HIV Immune"? I've never heard of that shit.

Sure, there have been reports of HIV-immune prostitutes in Africa for years. With a large and diverse enough population, there's bound to be a few individuals who are resistant or immune to any given disease.

I'm a little surprised that the solution was as "simple" as a bone marrow transplant. I expected genetic therapy, etc.

Re:Germans (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695187)

A number of people have been shown to have natural immunity. Call it a strong argument against eugenics. Rich gene pool for the win!

On a side note, a friend of mine has natural immunity. She got preggers from a guy with advanced HIV who now has full blown AIDS and both she and her baby are HIV free.

I'm uncertain if they have any idea what percentage of the population is immune though and since HIV is constantly mutating I'm not sure if natural immunity makes you immune from all the strains out there in the wild.

Re:Germans (1)

dogberto (102257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695245)

...for a while now. Mutation of the CCR5 gene seems to provide some degree of (even total) immunity to HIV (and also the bubonic plague).

read:
http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/news/2005/01/66198
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CCR5

It's a recessive mutation, so it is as a result of the bubonic plague going across Europe that certain European populations have a greater incidence of this mutation.

really? (1)

anonieuweling (536832) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695075)

Was HIV isolated before he began operating?

Nice to hear.... (-1, Flamebait)

plasticsquirrel (637166) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695095)

... it's being commercialized. Leave it to a U.S. institution to be concerned with profiting from a possible cure for HIV.

Re:Nice to hear.... (4, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695243)

Leave it to a U.S. institution to be concerned with profiting from a possible cure for HIV.

Sure, I'll leave it to them to do that, if you'll at least leave it to a US institution to invest in a ton of experimentation, research, development, refinement of the techniques, overcoming regulatory hurdles, patient trials...

Re:Nice to hear.... (1)

dogberto (102257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695285)

...sad but true (the part about making a profit)... ...though to be fair, to commercialize does also imply that they would be trying to expand the number of people to whom the treatment can be given to. Currently, it's only one person treated, under the guise of a highly talented doctor and his research team.

Sometimes, seemingly ingenious ideas never get out of the research stage because the processes involved can't be replicated on a wider scale. (of course, there are other reasons why some ingenious ideas never see the light of day, but that's beyond the scope of this discussion)

Re:Nice to hear.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695309)

... it's being commercialized. Leave it to a U.S. institution to be concerned with profiting from a possible cure for HIV.

Okay, would you be happier if an institution or organization from some other country was commercializing it or profiting from it? Or are you one of these people that believes that drugs and treatments should made available to all for free, via some magical process that has zero cost of production?

I don't quite get your point, I'm afraid.

Re:Nice to hear.... (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695389)

A tax-payer funded institution at that.

Re:Nice to hear.... (1)

Atheose (932144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695393)

Heaven forbid that the people who spend a lifetime looking for a cure and pouring billions of dollars into research get reimbursed for their work.

Use Resources Wisely (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695123)

I hope these operations for people who got AIDS by accident. No one who earned AIDS by promiscuous sexual behavior deserves to get these limited resources.

Unoriginal (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695149)

He just stole the idea from Omega Man. He needs to give Heston the credit he deserves.

Re:Unoriginal (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695337)

He just stole the idea from Omega Man. He needs to give Heston the credit he deserves.

Misattribution. Tim Matheson [wikipedia.org] wrote the original novel. Vincent Price, Charleton Heston and Will Smith just acted in different interpretations of the original story.

That said, I did prefer the Heston version to the others, in spite of Vincent Price's talents and the modern special effects of the Smith incarnation.

I am immune...where's the market? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695151)

I am immune to HIV/AIDS and have tones of student debt! Where is the market for my bone marrow? Where do I start?

Re:I am immune...where's the market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695345)

Magic Johnson.

Re:I am immune...where's the market? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695355)

I am immune to HIV/AIDS and have tones of student debt! Where is the market for my bone marrow? Where do I start?

Better do it fast before they start synthesizing the stuff. The value of your marrow will drop to zero at that point.

Yeah great and all (2, Informative)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695163)

I mean other than the downsides of a bone marrow transplant actually being one of the riskiest procedures around, often killing anything up to 20% of recipients within a couple of weeks. Maybe after all drug treatment options have failed this might be a good idea.

Nerds everywhere rejoice (1)

Liquidrage (640463) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695197)

The return of free sex is near!

Re:Nerds everywhere rejoice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695329)

The return of free sex is near!

So?? We still won't get any.

Re:Nerds everywhere rejoice (3, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695401)

The return of free sex is near!

Yeah, right. When did nerds ever partake of free sex? Not that they didn't want to, but you know ... they were nerds.

Evolution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25695229)

The dude who is immune is clearly a case of evolution. Survival of the fittest.

Heh (1)

hkz (1266066) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695233)

Gero Hutter is the new Gutter Hero! :-)

I know what bone marrow transplants do to people (4, Insightful)

haaz (3346) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695235)

My late mother had a bone marrow transplant (BMT) to treat her pre-leukemic condition and try to prevent it from becoming full-bore leukemia. To do this, they blasted her whole body with radiation (sorry, don't know which frequency), which killed her existing bone marrow. They then inserted/transplanted his sister's bone marrow. Now, I am not a doctor, so I'm probably leaving out a lot of important steps here. But because of the radiation dosage, she lost her hair, a lot of weight, and the ability to keep food in her for any length of time.

Yes, we knew this was coming. In fact, she had worked as a radiation oncologist for decades before her diagnosis with myelodysplasia. The irony abound.

Unfortunately, either the transplant didn't take or the weakness was too much for her. She passed away on November 16, 1999. Two weeks after I'd gotten married. And some of you may remember my then-wife from what happened five months later [slashdot.org] . Yeah, life kinda sucked.

I do want to see the HIV/AIDS pandemic curbed, and I do what I can to help people who have it live a little better. But a BMT is a major, major procedure. It's not guaranteed to be a death sentence, but it's not guaranteed to work, either. Is it worse than HIV/AIDS? That question is beyond my pay level to try and answer. I just have one story from one BMT that unfortunately did not go well. I am thankful that no one in my family has had HIV/AIDS. But I just don't know if this is the best way to deal with it once someone is infected.

Re:I know what bone marrow transplants do to peopl (5, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695391)

BMT is a major, major procedure.

With about 30% mortality, I've read.

-jcr

Insurance companies won't buy into this (2)

bjdevil66 (583941) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695273)

Good luck getting coverage for that kind of treatment. Probable responses: "The vat of pills you take every day is much cheaper. Claim denied." Or, "Experimental - denied."

If this truly works on a large scale, this particular treatment will unfortunately be for the upper class only.

Monetization (-1, Flamebait)

anonieuweling (536832) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695305)

Making money off of a disease which is very much kept in the vague, unclear, opaque situation is evil. Where is the reproducible proof that HIV exists? Where is the reproducible proof that HIV causes AIDS? No, no panic, just some questions. Everybody assumes that what they say is true. True for HIV, True for HPV. True for whatever. THINK first. Do your research.

Re:Monetization (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695413)

Are you suggesting that HIV doesn't exist? Are you suggesting those that work to get educated all the way up to PhD level do not deserve to make money (because the company that makes money needs to pay its employees)?

If you want reproducible proof that HIV exists, I'd suggest you check a little place called Africa where HIV/AIDS is a plague in every sense of the word.

Respectfully, what the F@$#% are you talking about?

natural immunity problem (4, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695381)

Most of what I've read about so-called natural immunity isn't really immunity per-se. People with immunity still carry the HIV virus; It just doesn't turn into AIDS for a long time, but in a lot of cases, eventually it overcomes the immunity. Here's an article on one such study [BBC [bbc.co.uk] ].

Evolution as a problem solver (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695385)

It's fascinating that Evolution has managed to find a "cure" for this disease through random mutations more quickly than decades of brilliant minds and lots of money. Hooray for mass parallelism. Once we have computers capable of simulating this, we'll be able to solve some amazing problems. I have no idea how complex such a simulation is or how far off that would be.

Evolving an immunity (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#25695421)

It's interesting to look at this in the context of evolution.

Viruses and bacteria have a distinct evolutionary advantage in mutating far more quickly and being far more numerous. Thus they can develop immunities to cures more quickly than humans can develop immunities to the diseases.

On the other hand, we have the technology to identify and isolate the gene that grants us immunity, and then manufacture a cure without having to wait thousands of years for natural selection to make us all immune.

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