Two Miracles at Once: Survived Both Cancer and HIV

1 min read
Two Miracles at Once: Survived Both Cancer and HIV

Californian Paul Edmonds defied the odds by overcoming not one, but two life-threatening illnesses: acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and HIV. This incredible feat was achieved thanks to a stem cell transplant, marking a major breakthrough in HIV treatment.

Edmonds, diagnosed with HIV in 1988, lived with the virus for 31 years before receiving the lifesaving transplant in 2017. Despite antiretroviral therapy keeping the virus undetectable, it remained present in his immune cells. However, the donated stem cells carried a rare genetic mutation (CCR5 delta-3) that grants resistance to HIV.

The transplant effectively replaced Edmonds’ bone marrow and blood stem cells, eradicating both the cancer and the virus. Following the procedure, he stopped antiretroviral therapy, and after 35 months, he remains HIV-free. This remarkable case makes him one of only five individuals worldwide to achieve HIV remission through this method.

While the treatment carries significant risks and is currently limited to those with life-threatening blood cancers, it holds immense promise for the future. Dr. Jana Dickter, involved in Edmonds’ case, expresses hope that this “two-for-one” treatment can benefit others in the future.

This story offers a beacon of hope, highlighting the tireless efforts of medical professionals and the potential of innovative therapies to conquer seemingly insurmountable challenges.


The letter was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.


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