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Medical Transfusion/marrow transplant for aids treatment

  1. Dec 11, 2006 #1


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    If the problem of retroviral infection is, like for example HIV, viral DNA segment integration in human DNA of immune system cells, why cannot be the same or similar method as used in treatment of patients with leukemia or blood cancers be applied here? What is preventing this? Couldn't infected immune system cells be destroyed with radiation and a new transfusion of blood and bone marrow transplant from donor? Couldn't be remaining viruses and infected immune system cells in blood be externally separated (filtered/collected - something like in kidney failure paitents)? Wouldn't such procedures eradicate the virus and remove infected immune system cells? The new healthy ones from donor would then in absence of viruses repopulate the patient. It would be risky, given the low immunity of such patient, but if blood cancer patients can survive such procedures, why couldn't this be helpful for aids patients? Wouldn't surgical removal of lymph nodes and spleen, combined with radiation, blood transfusion and bone marrow transplant eradicate hiv and cure aids?

    ..so, why is such procedure not working here (the analogy with blood cancer treatment)? Is it because infected immune system cells are not limited only to blood and are present in hard tissues too? Even if viruses could not be separated from blood but only infected immune system cells could, wouldn't new integrase inhibition drugs prevent integration of new retroviral DNA segments in newly recieved healthy immune system cells from donor?

    ..thanks to anyone for clarification of this topic.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2007 #2
    I have been thinking of this kind of procedure for over a year now. I came to a conclusion that it can be done. There is no reason why a blood transfusion can't get rid of infected cells and replaced them or some with new ones by the donar's blood. The whole process would be a mess. No one wants to waste blood for HIV or AIDS patients because we tend to say that they don't deserve it or other patiens might need it more. Therefore, we lean towards drugs that prohibit the virus entering into the cells. But, recently I have heard of this Enzyme that actually finds the infected cells and cuts out the embeded DNA. If that is true, then the new drug D-peptides which mounts to the virus's GP41 or GP120 along with this enzyme should be enought to almost cure a patient. In addition, if a blood transfusion is done along with these new treatments I think a cure for AIDS is somthing that patients can look forward to.
  4. Oct 27, 2007 #3
    This is not a completely valid assertion. If you are interested in this subject, please Google leukemia-lymphoma society, American Cancer Society, Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, NIH.
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