Provider FAQs

Why the interest in HIV cure?

HIV cure research has been energized by the report of the “Berlin patient”. Timothy Ray Brown was cured of HIV infection after receiving an allogeneic stem cell transplant for treatment of AML. His donor was homozygous for a naturally occurring mutation in the CCR5 gene (CCR5Δ32) which confers resistance to HIV infection. Timothy Brown has been off antiretroviral therapy for 6 years without reemergence of HIV plasma viremia.

Is stem cell transplantation is safe for patients with HIV with hematologic malignancies?

YES. Both autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplantation are safe in HIV infected patients receiving antiretroviral therapy.

  • Autologous stem cell transplantation has been shown to be safe and effective for HIV-infected patients receiving antiretroviral therapy with relapsed or recurrent NHL.
  • Autologous stem cell transplantation is now the first-line treatment for HIV-infected patients with relapsed or recurrent NHL.
  • Similarly, with the use of concurrent antiretroviral therapy, HIV infection is no longer a contraindication to allogeneic stem-cell transplantation.

Are HIV-infected patients needing SCT a rare population?

HIV-infected patients who require transplantation are an extremely RARE group of patients.

Understanding what happens to the latent reservoir during either myeloablative or nonmyeloablative stem cell transplantation will be instrumental in helping us find a cure for HIV infection.

What are inclusion and exclusion criteria for ongoing studies at FHCRC?

We are currently seeking the following patients to study the impact of transplantation on the latent HIV reservoir:

  • Patients with hematologic malignancy treatable with autologous or allogeneic
  • Patients who have been on HAART for at least one month AND have an HIV VL<5000 copies/ml.

Protocols

1410 | Treatment with Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Induction of Mixed Hematopoietic Chimerism in Patients Infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 Using a Non-Ablative Conditioning Regimen Containing Total Body Irradiation in Combination with Post-Transplant Immunosuppression with Cyclosporine and Mycophenolate Mofetil.

2212 | Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-Specific Immune Reconstitution after Hematopoietic Cell Transplant for Treatment of Hematologic Malignancy in Patients Infected with HIV.

2485 | High Dose Chemotherapy with Autologous Stem Cell Rescue for Aggressive B Cell Lymphoma and Hodgkin Lymphoma in HIV-Infected Patients. (BMT-CTN Protocol 0803 (AMC Protocol 071).

How do I refer a patient?

Contact the Clinical Coordinator Office at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, (1-800-804-8824) and reference the protocol number listed above.

Why is the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center doing HIV cure research?

The first patient who was cured of HIV infection was cured after receiving stem-cell transplantation for leukemia and HIV resistant cells. The field of bone-marrow transplantation was born at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC). We are one of the leading transplant centers worldwide and continue to be at the forefront of transplantation research.

In addition, the FHCRC houses the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). Through these trials, we have a wealth of immunologic and virologic expertise in HIV infection.

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is involved with HIV cure research through defeatHIV. For more information about our research, visit our website at defeatHIV.org. To learn more about the FHCRC, click here.