Navigation Links
Child Appears Cured of Sickle Cell Disease After Stem Cell Transplant
Date:8/31/2013

St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) August 31, 2013

This summer, Gabby Carter played on the beach. She waded into the ocean. She spent hours some afternoons in the pool. Her summer included activities that would seem normal to any 7-year-old. But, for Gabby, they were extraordinary.

Last summer, Gabby was a very sick little girl. She was born with sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder that causes a change in the shape to red blood cells. The misshapen cells, which look like crescents, caused her blood to move less efficiently through her body, depriving her organs of oxygen, causing intense pain and putting her at high risk for stroke.

“For Gabby, we knew it was just a matter of time before she would have a stroke,” her mom, Debbie Carter, remembers.

By the summer of 2012, the road for the Carter family had already been a difficult one. Gabby was diagnosed with sickle cell disease when she was just a baby. When her daughter was 10 months old, doctors told Debbie how the future would likely look. She knew the odds Gabby would suffer through pain crises and anemia.

The family spent months in and out of St. Louis Children’s Hospital, managing the symptoms of Gabby’s disease. In November 2011, she had to start monthly blood transfusions due to narrowed blood vessels in her brain, a risk for future strokes. Then came hope –an anonymous donor was a good bone marrow match, and a bone marrow transplant was the best option for treatment. Gabby was 5 at the time.

“This was what we were waiting for. This was her shot at a cure,” says Debbie.
But the donor decided not to go through with the procedure, leaving the Carters looking at other possibilities.

“We had another option,” says Dr. Shalini Shenoy, director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “We found a cord blood product that was a suitable match for Gabby in the cord blood bank.”

At that point, Dr. Shenoy was leading a 10-center experimental cord blood transplant study, and had received approval to transplant three sickle-cell patients with unrelated (non-sibling) donor cells. Until this point, the preferred source for donor cells had been a patient’s brother or sister. Dr. Shenoy first discussed the possibility of a stem cell transplant with Debbie when Gabby was 3.

“She told us people had been cured from sickle cell with stem cell transplants.”

Dr. Shenoy also described the process – one that would be far from simple.

“They’ve been through their disorder, so they know what they’ve gone through. We explain to them the time period over which these transplant complications can occur, and help them understand what the pluses and minuses of transplant are going to be, and let them think about it.”

With the best chance at a bone marrow transplant off the table, though, Debbie decided to move forward with a cord blood transplant.

“It was the possibility of a cure. I couldn’t NOT do that. I had to give her a chance.”

Gabby spent the entire summer of 2012, from June through August, in the hospital. She received her transplant, then stayed in isolation to protect her weakened immune system. Even when she left the hospital, she couldn’t go home to Cape Girardeau, a three hour drive from St. Louis. She battled challenges inherent to transplant: hypertension, diabetes, and general sadness. But by winter, she was home, and turning a corner.

Children with sickle cell experience pain in extreme temperatures. But in December, she played in the snow for the first time—and didn’t complain of any discomfort. In January, she went back to school. And by summer, all signs of sickle cell disease had vanished.

Debbie continues to marvel at all of the seemingly small changes, “She’s doing things I never thought she’d do. She’s a normal kid. Her meds alone used to be a full time job. I spent all but two waking hours getting them ready.”

The care routine that had Debbie out of bed at 6:00 a.m. and up until 1:00 a.m. is now vastly different. Gabby takes six medicines instead of twelve. She can play without resting several times a day. She’s looking at a future with far fewer hospital visits, and a future without the constant fear of stroke. That alone, her mother says, has made the challenges of the last year worthwhile.

To Dr. Shenoy, Gabby’s progress is exciting in-and-of-itself, but it also holds enormous promise for one of the ways in which sickle cell disease can be treated and cured in the years to come.
“In the future, if we can say that transplant is going to be a breeze, we know how to deal with it, the outcome is going to be good, we can actually offer a cure for sickle cell disease patients across the board. That’s got a long way to go, but we’re working towards that process.”

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/8/prweb11080306.htm.


'/>"/>
Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2012 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. The Child Car Seat Laws by State Resource on EliteCarSeats.com Has Been Recently Updated
2. St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital study yields new strategy against high-risk leukemia
3. Autistic children can outgrow difficulty understanding visual cues and sounds
4. St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital scientists identify ALS disease mechanism
5. UK children less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD
6. Is It Selective Mutism or Is My Child Just Shy?
7. UCI, UCLA study reveals new approach to remedying childhood visual disorders
8. Healthcare professionals need to look out for fabricated illness in children: McMaster professor
9. Nursing professor receives funding to better estimate child fatalities due to abuse and neglect
10. High BPA levels in children associated with higher risk of obesity and abnormal waist circumference
11. Child health concerns vary among different races, ethnicities
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... The 2017 NCSL International Workshop & ... focuses on the new ISO/IEC 17025 standards. This marks the first time in ... calibration will be changed. , As an exhibitor, METTLER TOLEDO will showcase ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... July 24, 2017 , ... ... solution focused on delivering end-to-end sleep health care at scale, indicates record-breaking ... shows that adherence rates for positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy, the most widely ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... July 24, 2017 , ... A Southern California-based author has released ... abuse, and how she has overcome them. “Forbidden Memories: A Memoir,” by author Michelle ... how she has risen above. , In “Memories,” readers get a firsthand look at ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... July 24, 2017 , ... Committed to eliminating clubfoot as ... 100,000 children in their treatment program. Clubfoot is a pervasive problem in the ... is limited or non-existent. Without intervention, these children are destined to grow up ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... July 24, 2017 , ... Clinical Quality Assurance:, Roles and ... 22-23, 2017 – Arlington, VA, http://www.fdanews.com/cqa , Early bird pricing for ... growing demands to track and report adverse events place even greater pressure on ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/14/2017)... , July 14, 2017 Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ... on Tuesday, August 8, 2017.  Members of its senior management team ... markets open at 8:30 a.m. ET. The dial-in ... (866) 497-0462, International (678) 509-7598, and the passcode is 45397076. Please ... A replay of the call ...
(Date:7/12/2017)... July 12, 2017 CarpalAID is a revolutionary new product ... surgery. Carpal tunnel syndrome affects more than 8 million ... the rate of men. The common methods of treating CTS are ... uncomfortable hand braces or gloves. ... CarpalAID is a clear patch worn on ...
(Date:7/11/2017)... LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. , July 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... hematology and urinalysis diagnostic testing equipment as well ... latest innovation: a way to make quality assurance ... control processes. "Sysmex is well known for the ... SM Quality Monitor elevates quality assurance processes ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: