Scientific Advisory Coalition

Scientific Advisory Coalition

 

Scientific advisory coalition Dr-Heutter

As you can imagine there are so many brilliant scientists and researchers we have met and worked with since the announcement that “the Berlin Patient” (Timothy Ray Brown) had been cured of HIV. The Scientific Advisory Coalition will focus on researchers and scientists from around the globe focused on finding a cure for HIV.

The Scientific Advisory Coalition will help us mold the direction of the Cure Report providing important insight regarding the needs necessary to propel us Toward a Cure for HIV for everyone and everywhere.

 

 

Meet the Man Who Created the First Cure for HIV… 

 
Scientific advisory coalition Dr-Heutter 2Gero Hütter, M.D. is a German hematologist. Dr. Huetter is recognized as the brilliant doctor that came up with the idea that led to the first person in the world being cured of HIV.  Huetter and his medical team transplanted bone marrow deficient in a key HIV receptor to a leukemia patient, Timothy Ray Brown, who was also infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Subsequently, the patient’s circulating HIV dropped to undetectable levels. The case was widely reported globally in the media, and Hütter was named one of the “Berliners of the year” for 2008 by the Berliner Morgenpost, a Berlin newspaper. In 2009, Hütter, Eckhard Thiel and others from the Charité Hospital in Berlin, Germany, published a report on the case in the New England Journal of Medicine. Their patient Timothy Ray Brown, a US citizen born in Seattle, Washington, and living in Berlin, had both acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and HIV. The physicians found a bone marrow donor with a CCR5-Δ32 mutation in both genomic copies of a gene encoding a cell-surface chemokine receptor called CCR5. Because “most of HIV strains” use the CCR5 receptor to enter a host cell, the mutation confers resistance to HIV infection. The patient himself was heterozygous for CCR5-Δ32. Following the transplant procedure, the patient’s CD4+ T-cells circulating in the blood were homozygous for CCR5-Δ32. The macrophages in his bowel, which continued to express wildtype CCR5 (because they hadn’t been replaced yet from bone marrow precursors), also had no detectable virus. After 600 days without antiretroviral drug treatment, the patient’s blood, bone marrow and bowel HIV levels were below the limit of detection; the virus was thought to be present in other tissues. However, the patient actually had a brain biopsy, in addition to biopsies of his intestines, liver, lymph nodes, bone marrow—basically, every part of the body that can be biopsied. All were negative for virus. There is no virus in this person’s body out to two and a half years off of all anti-HIV drugs. His antibody levels—called titers—are declining just the way expected if the patient was vaccinated against HIV and then the levels of antibodies were examined. They’d be very strong in the beginning, but would weaken if they are not re-exposed to the virus. It is believed this patient has no HIV in his body and therefore there is nothing to re-expose him, so the concentration of HIV antibodies in his blood is decreasing. It is predicted that, in a couple of years, his HIV antibody test will be negative. The mortality risk associated with bone marrow transplants is thought to contraindicate the use of this experimental treatment for HIV-positive individuals without leukemia or lymphoma. Some researchers such as Edward Berger believe that resistance to CCR5 inhibition may emerge if CXCR4 strains of HIV emerge (these use CXCR4 rather than CCR5 as a coreceptor, from which they become independent). Before the treatment though the patient had low levels of the CXCR4 virus but after the treatment this type of HIV could not be detected either which Hütter called “very surprising”. People without CCR5 can be more sensitive to some infections such as West Nile virus. 
 

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