Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Hold Your Horses

"Stem Cell Transplant Cures HIV in 'Berlin Patient'" screamed the Huffington Post headline on a story of a man who received a stem cell transplant to treat his leukemia in 2007 and found his HIV infection had most likely been cured. Although the remarkable achievement — as detailed in a paper in Blood — certainly has researchers and bloggers buzzing, some aren't ready to bring out the party hats just yet. The researchers have confirmed in their paper that the patient has maintained his HIV resistance for three years, writing that a "cure of HIV has been achieved in this patient." However, David Cohen at New Scientist's Short Sharp Science writes that everyone should note the "crucial words 'in this patient'" — meaning that this patient was lucky because he found an exact bone marrow match, so his body didn't reject it, and although some have heralded this discovery has a potential cure for AIDS, "in reality this is unlikely to be the case." While it's great news for the so-called "Berlin patient," it's a very long way from being a treatment that's scalable to the millions of AIDS patients in the world, Cohen says.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.