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Person cured of HIV dies of cancer

Timothy Ray Brown was the first person to recover from the most dangerous human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Brown, popularly known as Berlin Patient, died a few days ago. However, Brown died of cancer. Brown had cancer in 2007. For the treatment he was given his bone marrow by a person who naturally had immunity against HIV. Because of this, his HIV infection was cured. However, his cancer later returned.

This is how treatment was done
Brown was diagnosed with HIV infection in 1994. After this, in the year 2007, he got acute myeloid leukemia which is a type of blood cancer. To treat this, he got a bone marrow transplant. This donor DNA had a mutation in the CCR5 gene. Because of this gene, the virus was able to infect the cells of the body. Mutations had created immunity against HIV infection.

Cancer returned
After treatment, HIV infection fell in Brown’s blood and he did not need anti-retroviral therapy. However, his cancer returned this year which spread to the brain and spinal cord. Brown was more dangerous to be treated as a routine but still remained the main treatment for cancer. This method was also extremely expensive for 38 million people who are suffering from HIV in sub-Saharan African regions.


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