Timothy Ray Brown, famous for being the first person to be cured of HIV, has died from cancer at age 54.
Known as the “Berlin patient,” Brown was diagnosed with both HIV and acute myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells, while living in Berlin more than a decade ago, according to Reuters. After his cancer diagnosis in 2006, Brown received radiation therapy and a bone marrow transplant in 2007; the goal of the treatment was to kill the existing cancer in his body and jumpstart production of healthy white blood cells, which are generated in the bone marrow.
But the physician who led the procedure, Dr. Gero Huetter, aimed to treat both Brown’s leukemia and his HIV using the same operation, according to The Associated Press.
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Huetter sought out a bone marrow donor with a rare genetic