Home Features Best of 2014 BEST OF 2014 // #76: Respite for Sickle Cell Anemia Patients

BEST OF 2014 // #76: Respite for Sickle Cell Anemia Patients

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BEST OF 2014 // #76: Respite for Sickle Cell Anemia Patients

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

There’s 99 more stories from 2014.  Check out the Best of 2014 series here

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