The third case of AIDS cure? Expert: Long-term observation is needed

After “Berlin Patient” and “London Patient”, “Patient Sao Paulo” is likely to become the world’s third cure for AIDS. On July 7, the News Channel on science’s website reported on the treatment of the 36-year-old male patient from Sao Paulo, Brazil. The patient was treated with antiretroviral therapy in combination with nicotinamide (a vitamin B3), and since the 66-week suspension of the drug, no HIV has been detected in his blood and the concentration of antibodies in the blood is very low.

The third case of AIDS cure? Expert: Long-term observation is needed

Notable 66 weeks of suspension did not rebound

“If, as reported, ‘Sao Paulo patients’ do not rebound in 66 weeks after the suspension, that is a real concern.” On July 9, Zhang Linxuan, director of Tsinghua University’s Comprehensive AIDS Research Center, told Science Daily that most patients who used to be treated with antiretroviral drugs usually recovered quickly to high levels within a few weeks of discontinuation.

Antiretroviral therapy, also known as “cocktail therapy”, is as common as a cocktail mixed with a variety of wines or drinks, and is commonly used in combination with several (around three) antiretroviral drugs, which act as a inhibitor at key nodes of HIV replication and are widely used in the field of AIDS treatment.

The researchers added two more antiretroviral drugs to the conventional three-drug treatment, hoping that this “enhanced” treatment will eliminate the HIV virus hidden in the “dead end” of conventional antiretroviral therapy.

In addition, HIV is difficult because it can “weaves” genetic material onto human chromosomes, into hibernation, forming a latent reservoir, to escape immune system surveillance and antiretroviral drugs attack. The researchers used nicotine to re-awaken HIV cells, making an intensive version of the “cocktail therapy” to detect traces of HIV and break the virus in one fell swoop, providing the possibility of a cure for AIDS.

If effective “Patients in Sao Paulo” treatment options are proven to be universal

“Of course, it will take longer to see whether the ‘Sao Paulo Patients’ treatment plan will actually cure AIDS.” Zhang said.

According to relevant reports, the “suspension of medicine” described as “Sao Paulo patient” self-report, the authenticity of the test. Even if the contents of the self-described discontinuation are true and reliable, HIV may return in the near future. A baby in Mississippi who started antiretroviral therapy shortly after birth and tested negative for HIV within 27 months of discontinuation was considered a “functional cure”, but the virus suddenly reappeared two years later.

In addition, a total of five patients received the same treatment, only “Patients in S?o Paulo” had the positive effects at present, and the other four stopped taking drugs and the virus quickly relapsed. Therefore, at this stage, “Sao Paulo patients” is only a lone case, whether it can be copied is not known, more patients need to be further clinically verified.

The slyness of THE HIV virus makes researchers more cautious when coming to conclusions. This “Sao Paulo patient” has aroused widespread concern in the academic community, in addition to providing a new attempt to cure AIDS, but also the potential for the treatment to be widely used prospects.

Zhang linxuan pointed out that if the method is proved to be true and effective, the “Sao Paulo patients” therapy will be much more universal and popular than the first two cases of AIDS cures.

The first two lucky cases, known as “Berlin Patients” and “London Patients” in the academic world, have very similar treatments that are difficult to promote. Both were transplanted with bone marrow stem cells, and both bone marrow donors carried a mutation in the CCR5 gene that is thought to be effective in blocking HIV invasion. However, the number of people carrying CCR5 gene mutation is very small, bone marrow matching is also a difficult time, bone marrow transplant technology itself is also very demanding, follow-up also need to consider the rejection of the relevant treatment, the cost of ordinary people can not afford.

“Patients in Sao Paulo” is different. Zhang Linxuan pointed out that the patient is using drug therapy, in the drug accessibility and treatment technology itself is not too difficult. If the follow-up is truly proven to be effective, it will give hope to more ordinary AIDS patients. Its popularity is “a world of difference” compared with the first two cures.