"The findings are very significant because adults with very severe sickle cell disease have decreased life expectancy and multiple morbidities but have limited therapeutic options," said Abboud, who wrote an accompanying editorial. "In the past these patients were excluded from transplant studies as they are very poor candidates for high dose chemotherapy regimens. This study makes it possible to offer this subset of patients with severe sickle cell disease stem cell transplants."
Dr. Lakshmanan Krishnamurti, a pediatric hematologist/oncologist at the University of Pittsburgh and director of the Sickle Cell Program at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, has done bone marrow transplants in children, also using a less toxic protocol.
"This is an important paper and a big step forward for the field," Krishnamurti said. "Now we are able to say, 'OK, young adults or not so young adults can be transplanted successfully.' That is a very big deal."
There's more on sickle cell disease at the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.
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