Using HIV To Treat Cancer

November 10, 2014

It seems like an oxymoron. Doctors using HIV to fight leukemia. It just doesn’t seem to make sense, but it is true, and it is working.

For those who are unfamiliar, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. Leukemia is a type of cancer.

In 2012, Marshall Jensen was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He and his wife traveled all over the United States from their Utah home in search of a cure for his deadly disease. There were moments the disease would go dormant, but would come back.

Marshall came across Dr Carl June. Dr June has had a team of researchers working on a cure for leukemia. They had a breakthrough and decided to give Marshall a shot at this new find. Dr June used a disabled form of the HIV virus. He took cells from Marshall’s body, and integrated them with the harmless HIV cells. The cells were put back into the body and acted as warriors attacking the cancer and killing it.

So far, 12 patients have had this treatment and all are in remission Bruce says, and that’s pretty incredible.

With this new find, we can have a smile knowing that leukemia and maybe other cancers will be extinct soon. Do we thank HIV for it? Maybe not, but we do need to thank Dr June and his team at Penn Medicine.

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