New AIDS treatment using stem cells

A bone marrow harvest.
A bone marrow harvest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do you think about scientific research? Do you think miracles like discovering gravity while seeing a falling apple is still possible today? Seeing the present day advancements in AIDS treatment it seems that similar things will continue in future.

Recently two individuals were cured of HIV by stem cell transplantation. While they were getting anti-retroviral treatment (HIV virus is called retrovirus, therefore treatment against this virus is referred as anti-retroviral treatment ) against HIV for a long time they acquired a type of blood cancer too. Their blood cancer were treated by chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation therapy. Following this cancer treatment interestingly both of them were found to have no evidence of HIV in their bodies and the antiretroviral drugs were stopped. Surprisingly, in one of them even after 7 weeks and after about 15 weeks in the other, no HIV virus were detected since the stoppage of antiretroviral drugs.

Those who aren’t acquainted about what are stem cells – a briefing for you: these are cells that can create new cells in body. Since chemotherapy can’t differentiate between cancer and noncancer cells they kill all sort of blood forming cells of the bone marrow and cancer cells. So to replenish those blood forming cells those type of cells are collected from a donor (this may not be most accurate explanation but must suffice to give you an rough idea about the process).

The researcher till now have no idea how such anti cancer treatment lead to the cure from HIV. There may be a mechanism how stem cells must have helped. Even if stem cell transplantation may become a future treatment it’s a cumbersome and expensive process therefore how useful can this be for the mass is a question. However, if we got the spark today, we will definitely be able to light a fire tomorrow to light a candle!

For all your health concerns please be guided by your healthcare provider.  
Please cross check information from other sources too. 
Reference: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_138396.html
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