Sickle Cell Anemia is a disease in which a single mutation of the genes leads to a malformation in red blood cells. As these crescent shapes cell float around to clot where needed, they block tiny blood vessels because of they’re shape; causing pain and organ failure. The common course of treatment is high-dose radiation to remove bone marrow that produces the cell, followed by a bone marrow transplant and daily immunosuppressants to keep the body from rejecting the new marrow. The treatment is almost as debilitating as the disease.
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In July, John Tisdale of the National Institute of Health discovered a far less tortuous treatment, reporting that 26 of 30 patients recovered. The treatment involves low-dose radiation, a partial bone-marrow transplant and antibodies to prevent tissue rejection.
After a few patients accidentally stopped taking their medications, doctors noticed they remained healthy. The researchers were able to replicate the results in 15 more patients. Pending a larger study, patients could be one step further to living pain and drug free
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