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Thursday, November 13, 2008

castles in the sky

Elie Wiesel:
I have learned two lessons in my life: first, there are no sufficient literary, psychological, or historical answers to human tragedy, only moral ones. Second, just as despair can come to one another only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings.

last week on peter staley's blog, i first heard of the "berlin patient" who had been on hiv drug therapy and underwent bone marrow transplant surgery and now has no signs of active hiv in his bloodwork.

my friend then sent a link to an article about the very same item.

and i found an article on donklephant. here is an excerpt.

The startling case of an AIDS patient who underwent a bone marrow transplant to treat leukemia is stirring new hope that gene-therapy strategies on the far edges of AIDS research might someday cure the disease.

The patient, a 42-year-old American living in Berlin, is still recovering from his leukemia therapy, but he appears to have won his battle with AIDS. Doctors have not been able to detect the virus in his blood for more than 600 days, despite his having ceased all conventional AIDS medication. Normally when a patient stops taking AIDS drugs, the virus stampedes through the body within weeks, or days.

The breakthrough appears to be that Dr. [Gero] Hütter, a soft-spoken hematologist who isn’t an AIDS specialist, deliberately replaced the patient’s bone marrow cells with those from a donor who has a naturally occurring genetic mutation that renders his cells immune to almost all strains of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

considering the goings on in the world this last couple of weeks, especially in america, i think i'm gonna try audacity and go with hope.....


1 comment:

Marc said...

Ironically, I first came to California in 1989 to work with him on administering plasmapherisis to PWAs, in which high t-celled blood was infused in to the bodies of those with low t-cells. The therapy was eventually not approved, but was in some ways trying to pioneer this sort of treatment...

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