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scientific articles

Pediatric sickle cell disease: past successes and future challenges

key information

source: Pediatric Research

year: 2017

authors: Meier ER, Rampersad A


Once a fatal disease of childhood, more than 95% of patients born today with sickle cell disease (SCD) in developed countries are expected to survive into adulthood, largely because of improvements in supportive and preventive care (newborn screening, penicillin prophylaxis, transcranial Doppler (TCD) screening). Hydroxyurea (HU) therapy, the only oral medication currently available to prevent SCD complications, has become more widespread over the past 20 y. The NHLBI recommends that HU be offered to all patients with HbSS beginning at 9 mo of age, and the recently published Abnormal TCD with Transfusions Changing to HU (TWiTCH) trial has shown HU as an acceptable alternative to transfusion therapy for patients at high risk of stroke. While hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) is a curative option for SCD, less than 25% of patients have a suitable donor. Alternative stem cell sources from unrelated donors and haplo-identical donors are currently under investigation as are gene therapy trials. This review will focus on early efforts to elucidate SCD pathophysiology as well as supportive and preventive care improvements. Findings from recent multi-center studies (Silent Infarct Transfusion (SIT) Trial and TWiTCH) will be summarized. Finally, HSCT trials and gene therapy will be reviewed.

organization: Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center, Indianapolis

DOI: 10.1038/pr.2016.204

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