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Reportedly, the first time ever, Pune doctors successfully treated a 20-year-old girl from Ahmednagar, suffering from thalassemia as well as HIV, who had also survived a double haploidentical transplant.
A major breakthrough, this case has been published in the Hematology and Transfusion International Journal. The case describes the patient not just free from blood transfusions, but has also shown prolonged suppression of HIV post-transplant for close to seven years-suggesting a possible cure.
After the girl was diagnosed with thalassemia major at the age of eight months, the first transplant was done on her in 2013, when she was 13 years old. Initially, she had been receiving blood transfusions every 28 days, which was later, increased to every 18 days. Before the transplant, she had received a total of 200 transfusions in her life.
Following a haploidentical transplant, a second peripheral blood stem cell haploidentical transplant was also performed. After this, she did not experience graft rejection. Since the blood transplant, her HIV load has been undetectable. She was transfusion independent for nine months, but then developed anemia. She was started on a novel therapy with thalidomide, wheatgrass, L-glutamine, and resveratrol, to which she responded. Now, she has been off transfusions for the last six years, and is intermittently taking ART medications. Her most recent viral load was undetectable.
Samir Nikam, secretary of the Maharashtra Thalassemia Society, called it to be a major breakthrough for patients and said, “Many times, such medical achievements are seen in other countries, but now we see them in India, too. There are thousands of thalassemia patients and many get HIV infections due to blood transfusion.”
Source: ET Healthworld