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Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide

Doctors who performed an intense experimental treatment on a 41-year-old man with AIDS and cancer say they appear to have completely eliminated the AIDS virus from the patient. The man died seven weeks later from a recurrence of his aggressive cancer, but tests after the treatment and following his death--including viral assays using the extremely sensitive polymerase chain reaction--detected no evidence of HIV in the man's blood or in any of his organs.

Rein Saral, Albert D. Donnenberg and their colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center in Baltimore exposed the patient to high-dose, total-body irradiation and chemotherapy, killing every kind of blood- and bone-marrow-derived cell known to harbor HIV. They then provided a bone marrow transplant from a compatible sibling. Before and after the transplant, they gave the patient the HIV-killing drug zidovudine to keep residual viruses in dying cells from infecting the new marrow. During the last two weeks of the patient's life, and in all postmortem tests, the researchers found no evidence of HIV.

They plan to repeat the procedure on volunteers with both AIDS and cancer.
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Title Annotation:Biomedicine; human immunodeficiency virus eliminated by zidovudine
Author:Weiss, Rick
Publication:Science News
Date:Jun 17, 1989
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