How I treat patients with HIV-related hematological malignancies using hematopoietic cell transplantation

Joseph C. Alvarnas, John A. Zaia and Stephen J. Forman

Published e-Letters

Compose eLetter

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Author Information
First or given name, e.g. 'Peter'.
Your last, or family, name, e.g. 'MacMoody'.
Your email address, e.g.
Your role and/or occupation, e.g. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'.
Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. 'Royal Free Hospital'.
Statement of Competing Interests
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Vertical Tabs

Jump to comment:

  • Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation to Cure HIV
    • Lawrence D. Petz, Medical Director StemCyte, Inc.
    • Other Contributors:
      • Joanne Kurtzberg, Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology
      • Donna M. Regan, Executive Director
      • Koen van Besien, Physician, Division of Hematology/Medical Oncology
      • Joseph Rosenthal, Chair, Department of Pediatrics

    Alvarnas, Zaia and Forman published a sophisticated review of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in HIV-infected patients (1). They pointed out that even in this era of antiretroviral drugs, the morbidity and mortality of long standing HIV remains highly significant. HCT for HIV patients is highly relevant since the only known cure of HIV was the result of a HCT using homozygous CCR5-negative stem cells from an adult donor (2). However, homozygous CCR5-negative donors are unusual (~1% of Caucasians) and HCTs using adult donors requires very close HLA matching.
    A more realistic approach is the use of umbilical cord blood transplantation. The HLA match between a cord blood unit and recipient need not be as stringent as with adult donors, and a special inventory of hundreds of homozygous CCR5-negative cord blood units exists (3). Indeed, two HCTs using cord blood units from this inventory have been performed and, in both cases, the peripheral blood of the patient following engraftment was resistant to infection by HIV (3). Although the patients unfortunately died of an underling hematologic malignancy several months following the transplantation, such data strongly support the use of cord blood as a platform for application of this curative technology to other HIV infected individuals.
    Importantly, extensive data indicate that outcomes after cord blood transplantation are essentially equivalent to HCTs using adult donors (4). Indeed, a transplant...

    Show More
    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.