empty hospital bed
Sean Cate
Sean Cate
March 14, 2024 ·  2 min read

68-Year-Old California Man Cured of Both HIV and Blood Cancer, Doctors Reveal

In an unbelievable medical event, Paul Edmonds, a 68-year-old man from California, has emerged victorious in a battle against two heavy hitters: acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and HIV. Thanks to a new, innovative treatment, Edmonds is now in remission from both illnesses, marking a significant milestone in medical history.

The Remarkable Treatment

Image Credit: City of Hope

Five years ago, Edmonds took part in a treatment known as a stem cell transplant (AKA an allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation) for his AML. This procedure, often considered a last resort for blood cancers, involves infusing healthy blood-forming stem cells from a donor into the patient’s system.1 These donor cells possessed a genetic mutation linked to HIV resistance, providing an unexpected advantage in Edmonds’ case.

Having lived with HIV for over three decades, Edmonds’ diagnosis of AML added another (pretty unnecessary) layer to his medical journey. However, the stem cell transplant not only took out his leukemia but also brought in a new fighter for his battle against HIV. The mutation present in the donor cells created a resistance to HIV, effectively eliminating the virus from Edmonds’ system.2

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Reflecting on his difficult but ultimately triumphant journey, Paul expressed gratitude to the dedicated team of medical professionals at City of Hope who played a pivotal role in his recovery. His profound appreciation extended to the donors, scientists, nurses, and supportive care professionals whose collective efforts paved the way for his remarkable cure. Pretty much everyone responsible for the victory got a shout-out. 

Hope for Others

Edmonds’ case offers hope for those grappling with similar health challenges. Dr. Jana Dickter, a clinical professor at City of Hope, emphasized the potential of tailored treatments for blood cancers in conjunction with HIV remission. She stated that “as life expectancy for people with HIV increases, personalized therapeutic approaches hold promise for improved outcomes.

Paul, brought back to life by his extraordinary journey, has become an advocate for raising awareness about HIV and the potential for groundbreaking treatments. His story serves as a hopeful reminder for individuals living with chronic illnesses; that resilience and determination can lead to remarkable outcomes.

Paul Edmonds’ journey underscores the importance of perseverance, collaboration, and cutting-edge research in overcoming formidable health challenges. Stem cell transplants, coupled with advancements in genetic research, offer new avenues for combating both cancer and infectious diseases like HIV. Edmonds’ case exemplifies the intersection of medical breakthroughs and personalized treatment strategies in achieving remarkable outcomes. As medical advancements continue to evolve, Edmonds’ tale serves as an inspiration and a testament to the indomitable human spirit in the face of adversity.

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  1. California Man Free of HIV And Cancer in Astonishing Medical Recovery.” Science Alert. Jess Cockerill. February 25, 2024.
  2. Man in remission from blood cancer and HIV after remarkable treatment.” The Guardian. Ramon Antonio Vargas. February 28, 2024.