Navigation Links
Effective treatment for sickle cell underused by doctors
Date:6/17/2008

Uncertainties about proper use and possible long-term effects of hydroxyurea in the treatment of sickle cell anemia may be wrongly influencing doctors to avoid prescribing it to those in serious need, according to results of a literature review by specialists at Johns Hopkins.

"We know that many people with sickle cell disease aren't being offered this drug, which is the only one we have to treat this disease," says Sophie Lanzkron, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Sickle Cell Center for Adults at Johns Hopkins.

In a bid to heighten awareness about the nature of the uncertainties and correct clinical use of the drug, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services selected Lanzkron and her colleagues at Johns Hopkins to gather information from previously published studies on hydroxyurea.

First, they combed through databases to select randomized clinical trials, observational studies and case reports that evaluated the drug's effectiveness and incidences of toxic side effects. They excluded the poorer quality data and non-English publications and carefully analyzed data from 246 articles.

What emerged, the researchers say, is a clear picture of the drug's effectiveness.

Specifically, they found that the number of intensely painful sickle cell "crises," caused when misshapen, "sickled" red blood cells clump in blood vessels, dropped by 68 to 84 percent in people taking hydroxyurea. Their hospital admissions declined by 18 to 32 percent.

On the biological side, amounts of fetal hemoglobin, a blood component that seems to decrease sickle cell symptoms, increased by 4 to 20 percent after patients began taking hydroxyurea.

On the negative side of the risk/benefit ledger, studies in mice also indicated that hydroxyurea impairs sperm development. The researchers concluded that this effect could be present in human patients as well. The review could not conclude with any confidence that hydroxyurea increased or decreased the risk of leukemia or other tumors, leg ulcers and pregnancy complications.

In the team's report, published in the June 17 Annals of Internal Medicine, they conclude that hydroxyurea be considered a viable treatment option, but emphasized the need for more quality research.

"It's clear from our literature review that hydroxyurea works, but we need to do much more work to understand how it works and the best ways to use it," Lanzkron says.

Sickle cell anemia, an inherited disorder that affects mostly people of African and Hispanic heritage, is named for the crescent- or sickle-shaped blood cells caused by the disease. The C-shaped cells periodically clump inside blood vessels, blocking circulation and causing severe anemia, increased risk of infections or strokes, and episodes of extreme pain that can last hours or days. About 70,000 people have sickle cell disease in the United States.


'/>"/>

Contact: Christen Brownlee
cbrownlee@jhmi.edu
410-955-7832
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Effective Communication of Clinical Studies for Maximum Impact
2. Winning Method - Effective Identification and Development of Clinical Investigators
3. Adalimumab therapy effective in AS, RA and PsA patients refractory to other anti-TNF therapies
4. Hand bone mineral density is an effective predictor of mortality in rheumatoid arthritis
5. Whole Milk Cheaper, Effective Contrast Agent for GI Scans
6. Tracking Cancer Drugs Effectiveness
7. ECRI Institutes Alert and Recall Management System Expands Effectiveness with New Content and Filters
8. Exposure Therapy Effective in Preventing Post-Traumatic Stress
9. Study of anti-CD20 therapy effective B cell depletion
10. Whole milk is effective and cost-effective as oral contrast agent
11. £1.2M trial to test effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, ... work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his ... David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps ... in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a ... such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain ... following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, ... ... at CitiDent, is now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has ... , self-ligating Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Living, is proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic ... most beautiful women in the world, and the most handsome men, look naturally ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Tenn. , June 24, 2016  Arkis ... providing less invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid ... in funding.  The Series-A funding is led by ... Lighthouse Fund, and other private investors.  Arkis, new ... neurosurgical instrumentation and the market release of its ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Any dentist who has ... of the current process. Many of them do not even ... technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ... it at such a high cost that the majority of ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced ... BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution ... this clearance, Roche is the first IVD company in ... sepsis risk assessment and management. PCT is ... levels in blood can aid clinicians in assessing the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: