With the help of a stem cell donation, an HIV patient with cancer was cured of the infection with the HI virus. This is now reported by an international team of scientists led by Björn-Erik Ole Jensen from the University of Düsseldorf. According to the doctors, the 53-year-old man is completely free of the disease-causing viruses – even though he has been without antiviral HIV therapy since 2018.
So far there have only been a handful of similar cases worldwide. Only two more are currently published in specialist magazines: The men, who became known under their pseudonyms “Berliner Patient” and “Londoner Patient”, had also received stem cell donations to treat their leukemia. There are also cases that have not yet been reported in professional journals, such as that of a woman from New York .
Jensen’s team is now describing the case of the “Düsseldorf patient” in the journal “Nature Medicine” . The man was infected with HIV in 2008, and in 2011 he also developed leukemia, a disease in which immune cells become cancerous. A common treatment involves first killing off all of the patient’s immune cells and then replacing them with new ones. To do this, stem cells, from which immune cells develop, are taken from a healthy person and transplanted into the patient’s body.