Archive For 2019年5月26日
Two men who were HIV-positive appear to be virus-free, registering undetectable levels after bone marrow transplants in Sydney.
These are the first successful cases of HIV being cleared in Australia, according to the University of NSW’s Kirby Institute director, Professor David Cooper.
In a significant breakthrough for researchers, one of the patients cleared the virus without donor marrow containing a rare gene mutation that protects against HIV.
The human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS, became undetectable in both patients about three years after their transplants, Prof Cooper said.
The men, who were treated at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital, in partnership with the Kirby Institute, remain on antiretroviral therapy.
“We’re so pleased that both patients are doing reasonably well years after the treatment for their cancers and remain free of both the original cancer and the HIV virus,” he said.
The work was presented on Saturday at the Towards an HIV Cure Symposium, which is part of the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, which opens on Sunday.
The patients’ success echoes that of American man Timothy Ray Brown, the famous Berlin patient, who has shown no signs of virus resurgence since he received a bone marrow transplant from a donor with a rare gene mutation conferring resistance to HIV.
This rare gene mutation, called CCR5 delta32, makes stem cells naturally resistant to the virus.
It is found in less than one per cent of Caucasians, mostly northern Europeans.
In Boston, two other patients underwent similar bone marrow transplants in 2012 but the transplanted cells did not contain the rare gene mutation.
In both cases, the virus returned after antiretroviral treatment was stopped.
The first Sydney patient underwent a bone marrow transplant in 2010 for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. His donor had the mutation.
However, the second man who underwent a procedure in 2011 for acute myeloid leukaemia was matched with a donor that did not have it.
Both men no longer showed any trace of the virus after a series of tests, Prof Cooper said.
“This is another example of where the transplant can drive the amount of virus to levels that we simply cannot detect,” he said.
“But if we stopped the antiretroviral therapy, there would be a very strong chance that it would come back.
“We’re trying to understand this strong anti-HIV effect and understand where the virus might be hiding.”
The Sydney cases could lead to new approaches to treating, and ultimately eradicating HIV, he said.
“Cure research is looking for a way to move forward and my view is that this is a very important clue, that an immune response produced by bone marrow transplantation has such a strong anti-HIV effect,” Prof Cooper said.
“We’re going to use this as a model for cure research and see if we can develop some therapies that mimic what were doing with bone marrow transplantation.”
The stem cell transplant procedure, however, is not a practical strategy for the majority of HIV patients, and the risk of mortality is up to 10 per cent, Prof Cooper says.
“For someone with HIV, you certainly would not transplant them when they’ve got an almost normal lifespan with antiretroviral therapy.”
Between two and five HIV positive patients required bone marrow transplants for cancer each year in Australia, he said.
“It is very difficult to find a match for bone marrow donors.”
And when a donor and recipient match was found, the chances of then having the one per cent of donors who had the protective gene was going to be very small, he said.
Prof Cooper said there was a movement in the HIV cure community to try to identify these donors with the mutation and ask them to volunteer for bone marrow transplants for HIV-positive people.
The efforts of Australian World War I soldiers on the Western Front in France deserve better recognition from the wider public, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Michael Ronaldson says.
And speaking at the opening of a museum dedicated to the Australian contribution to the Battle of Fromelles, the first major battle fought by Australians on the Western Front and in which 5500 Australian soldiers were killed or wounded, Senator Ronaldson was optimistic that this would soon be the case.
“For many years the Battle of Fromelles went largely unnoticed and unremarked in Australia. That is now changing,” Senator Ronaldson said on Friday.
“This brief, utterly catastrophic and largely futile battle is now arguably better known than almost any other battle fought by Australians on the Western Front.
“(But) what we need to understand is a far wider understanding of those theatres that we took part in. And that will happen very quickly.
“As a nation we are focused on Gallipoli in 2015, but then the focus will shift to the Western Front.
“I believe there will be 100s of thousands of Australians who make the pilgrimage to the Western Front and to the Somme as they have to Gallipoli.”
Senator Ronaldson hopes the opening of the museum, partially funded to the tune of $1 million by the Australian government, in the tiny township of Fromelles will ensure that the legacy of the Western Front diggers lives on.
“The extraordinary experience of our soldiers on the Western Front deserves to be better known,” he said.
“The museum will help ensure the story of Australian service and sacrifice in this bloody battle will never be forgotten.”
On Saturday, the previously unmarked graves of a further 20 Australian soldiers will have their headstones rededicated after DNA evidence was able to identify them earlier this year.
For that, Senator Ronaldson says Australia will forever be indebted to the people of Fromelles.
“That you (the Fromelles residents) honour our dead in the way that you do today, and you did 98 years ago, is something very special to my nation,” he said.
“While I acknowledge that you believe you owe our men a great debt, I want to say to you that we similarly owe you an enormous debt for the way you honour them.”
There are still 67 Australian and two British soldiers, from the 250 discovered in a mass burial site in Pheasant Wood, who remain unidentified.
Russia has dismissed criticism from Australia, the US and other nations for its role in the Ukrainian conflict and the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17.
Responding after Australia on Friday used its place on the United Nations Security Council to call on Russia to end its support of separatist rebels in the Ukraine, Russian ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin pointed blame for the conflict elsewhere.
Churkin questioned why Ukrainian aviation dispatchers sent the Malaysia Airlines flight over an area of conflict where anti-aircraft missile systems were being used.
He also blamed the new Ukrainian government and pointed the finger at the US for pushing the government in Kiev into escalating the crisis.
“They are trying to lay the blame for the catastrophe caused by this path on Russia,” Churkin said in his address to the Security Council in New York.
Almost 300 passengers and crew died when MH17 was downed on Thursday over Ukraine, with 28 Australians and one American among the casualties.
US President Barack Obama told a White House press conference evidence indicated the jet was shot down by a surface-to-air missile launched from an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who will speak to Obama on Saturday (AEST) about Ukraine, has been one of the most vocal world leaders in criticising of Russia’s alleged involvement in the downing of the passenger jet.
Australia’s representative on the Security Council, Philippa King, added to the pressure on Russia.
“Russia has a crucial role to play in de-escalating this persistently dangerous crisis,” King told the Security Council.
“It must end its provocations and any support for separatist forces.
“It must control its border with Ukraine and prevent the flow of weapons, equipment and fighters from Russia into Ukraine.”
She called on Russia to withdraw the “large number of troops it has again amassed on the Ukrainian border”.
“It must actively work to de-escalate tensions and use its considerable influence with separatist groups in Ukraine to that end.
“Further political efforts are essential.”
Several second round blow-outs this season, the most recent at the Scottish Open, meant all eyes were on the 25-year-old Northern Irishman to see if he could capitalise on his one-stroke overnight lead rather than shoot himself in the foot.
Apart from a jittery bogey on the first, his only dropped shot so far, he was immaculate, racking up seven birdies for a second successive round of 66 for a 12-under total of 132.
Tiger Woods attracted huge galleries but a triple bogey at the 17th meant the 14-times major champion needed a birdie at the last to make the cut by his fingernails.
He duly obliged but barring an extraordinary turnaround in his form he will be making up the numbers at the weekend.
Less celebrated American Dustin Johnson will lead the chase of the run-away McIlroy after a tournament best seven-under 65 fired him into contention for his first major.
Fellow Americans Rickie Fowler and Ryan Moore were in a formidable group of six players on six under, which also included Italy’s Francesco Molinari, popular Spaniard Sergio Garcia, 2011 U.S. Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and 2010 British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen.
After a relatively calm opening day, warm, gusting winds of around 20mph (32kph) meant birdies were at a premium for the early starters with South African George Coetzee the only player to make a move with a 69 that gave him the clubhouse lead.
The birdies and eagles flowed later, however, as the wind lost its strength and the leaders, most of whom got the best of Thursday’s weather, began to make hay in the sunshine.
Even the local wildlife came out to play as McIlroy’s charge was briefly halted by a curious pheasant that wandered across the eighth green before he drained another long putt.
McIlroy, who won the U.S. Open by eight strokes in 2011 having also reached double figures under par by the weekend, was not about to let his so-called Friday demons ruin a gilt-edged chance to seize control of the Open.
At the Scottish Open this month he followed a 64 with a 78 and at the Memorial earlier this year he slumped to another 78 after a first-round 63. Another second-round meltdown occurred at the 2010 Open when he went from 63 to 80.
Laser-straight off the tees, delicate with his wedge and hot with the putter, McIlroy shrugged off his scruffy start to birdie three of the four par-fives on the coastal links and notch twos at the par-three sixth and 15th.
By the time he reached the par-four 17th, where Woods racked up a horrid seven after going out of bounds, there was no stopping him as he launched a drive of nearly 400 yards on his way to yet another birdie.
McIlroy walked off the 18th green with the stride of a man in complete control and afterwards he told reporters that far from any Friday nerves, he had felt an “inner-peace.”
“My second rounds this year have been terrible,” McIlroy told reporters. “And there isn’t really any explanation.
“But hopefully I put it to bed today.”
Thunderstorms predicted for Saturday could complicate matters, but McIlroy said he was right where he wanted to be.
“I haven’t been in this position in The Open Championship,” he said. “But I’m just really looking forward to the weekend and hopefully continuing the strong play that you’ve seen so far.”
The big-hitting Johnson will be a threat though.
He fired seven birdies in a blemish-free round on Friday and his duel with McIlroy on Saturday promises to be fascinating.
Should McIlroy fail to close the deal this weekend, Garcia would prove an equally popular winner.
The Spaniard gave the galleries his full repertoire on Friday in a round of 70, the best coming on the second where he holed his six-iron approach from 160 yards for an eagle – just as he did on the same hole in 2006.
Three bogeys took the shine off his day but Garcia, yet to win a major, was smiling broadly after a birdie on 18.
“To have a memory like another hole out on two, it was great,” Garcia, who started bogey-eagle-bogey, said.
For the second day in succession Woods made a terrible start – only this time it was worse.
A double-bogey six on the first, where he lashed his tee shot into deep rough, set the tone and he dropped another shot on the second before grinding out 14 consecutive pars.
At level-par the 38-year-old was still heading comfortably into the weekend but calamity struck on the 17th where, after going out of bounds he ran up a seven.
Lesser players would have cracked completely but the American showed tremendous focus to claim his first birdie of the day on the 18th to put him on the +2 cut line.
“I got off to a terrible start again. I had some opportunities to make a few birdies along the way to get back to even par for the day and I just never did,” he said.
“I’m pretty far back. Luckily I’ve got two rounds to go. And hopefully I can do something like Paul (Lawrie) did in ’99.”
Lawrie famously came back from 10 shots back to win the Open that year but with Woods clearly rusty after returning from back surgery in March, a first major since 2008 looks beyond him.
Several big names trying to kick start their challenges early on Friday suffered frustration.
World number one Adam Scott, who began the day two shots off the lead, dropped shots at the second and third holes, both par fours into the wind, although he did earn one back at the fifth.
The Australian ended the day with a couple of birdies to sit three under going into the weekend. Defending champion Phil Mickelson eagled the fifth hole on his way to a two-under 70 that left him a distant 12 shots off the lead.
U.S. Masters champion Bubba Watson missed the cut on four over – fate that also befell former world No.1 Lee Westwood, Europe’s Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter and Justin Leonard.
(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)