Navigation Links
'Half-Match' Marrow Transplants Help Some With Sickle Cell

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In what might one day prove to be a breakthrough for those suffering from sickle cell anemia, new research suggests that bone marrow transplants based on partially matched donors can, in some cases, turn out as well for patients as fully matched transplants.

But, the finding is based on a very small study involving just 17 patients, and was described as "preliminary" in nature.

Still, with fully matched donors in drastically short supply, the notion that so-called "half-matched" transplants might also work raises the possibility that many more patients could avail themselves of a treatment for what can be an extremely painful, debilitating and ultimately fatal illness.

"We're trying to reformat the blood system and give patients new blood cells to replace the diseased ones, much like you would replace a computer's circuitry with an entirely new hard drive," study author Dr. Robert Brodsky, director of the division of hematology at Johns Hopkins and the Johns Hopkins Family Professor of Medicine and Oncology in Baltimore, said in a university news release.

"[But] while bone marrow transplants have long been known to cure sickle cell disease, only a small percentage of patients have fully matched eligible donors," he added.

Brodsky and his colleagues discussed the donor dilemma and their efforts to broaden transplant options in the Sept. 6 online edition of the journal Blood.

Roughly 100,000 Americans live with sickle cell anemia, a genetic disorder that impedes the normal workings of hemoglobin molecules responsible for transporting oxygen within red blood cells. The stiffening and misshaping of such cells into the telltale form of a "sickle" ultimately leads to cell clumping. In the end, oxygen delivery to organs and tissues shuts down.

As the illness progresses, patients typically struggle with excruciating pain, along with a risk complications, including kidney failure, stroke, lung disease and blood clots. Many die of the disease before the age of 50.

Treatment is often centered around the use of narcotics for pain control, along with frequent blood transfusions and hospitalizations.

The good news: bone marrow transplants involving fully matched tissue donors have shown the potential to effect a cure in some patients.

The bad news: the vast majority of patients are black (with about one in every 400 blacks struck by the disease) and national donor registries are limited, leaving many to wait in vain for a donor match.

Brodsky and his team performed bone marrow transplants involving both fully matched donors (three cases) and half-matched donors (14 cases), among patients between 15 and 46 years of age.

Both full and partial donor matches were drawn from family members such as parents, children and/or siblings. And all patients underwent a comparatively "gentle" pre-procedure prep regimen of immuno-suppression, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, the study authors said.

The result: 11 of the 17 transplants were deemed "successful." And of these 11 patients, eight had undergone half-matched operations.

The study authors said there were no fatalities. They concluded that the half-matched approach appeared to produce a success rate greater than 50 percent.

Dr. Zora Rogers, clinical director of the General Hematology Program at the Children's Medical Center in Dallas, said that while the findings are "encouraging," they should be interpreted with caution.

"First of all," she said, "it's important to recognize that this half-matched procedure performed predominantly among adults was not as good as a fully matched transplant performed among children would be, where the cure rate exceeds 90 percent. In fact, when you look at the 11 patients they say got better, six of them, if you will, were really 'cured' of their disease, while the other five of them remained a mixture of someone with the disease and without."

"But more importantly," Rogers added, "I would also point out that what a success rate of a little bit over 50 percent means is that you could go through this very big deal transplant, put your life at risk, and have it fail about half the time. Now, sickle cell is a horrible disease. Don't get me wrong. But unlike in leukemia or other malignancies where a transplant is your only hope, with sickle cell it's just an option. So, for patients who wish to pursue a cure this may expand their choices. But they need to consider this information carefully."

More information

For more on sickle cell anemia, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCE: Sept. 20, 2012, news release, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Half-match bone marrow transplants wipe out sickle cell disease in selected patients
2. Fertilizing bone marrow helps answer why some cancers spread to bones
3. Markey receives $6.25 million to study deadly blood and bone marrow disease
4. HIV Drug May Prevent Bone Marrow Transplant Complication
5. HIV drug reduces graft-vs.-host disease in bone marrow transplant patients, Penn study shows
6. Clinical trial seeks to cure advanced Crohns disease using bone marrow transplant
7. Bone marrow transplant eliminates signs of HIV infection
8. HIV Undetectable in 2 Men After Bone Marrow Transplants: Study
9. New genetic clues to why most bone marrow transplant patients develop graft-versus-host disease
10. Lack of sleep affects bone health and bone marrow activity
11. First, Second Kidney Transplants Have Similar Success: Study
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
'Half-Match' Marrow Transplants Help Some With Sickle Cell
(Date:10/10/2015)... ... October 10, 2015 , ... The Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup ... Saturday, October 10th, defending race winner, Kevin Harvick, will battle it out for the ... and all of the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. As part ...
(Date:10/10/2015)... ... October 10, 2015 , ... In the inaugural people’s choice contest, entitled Bold ... Work in Jacksonville, amongst medium-sized companies with 25 – 99 employees. The announcement was ... a celebratory gala on October 1st. , Many of the features of the ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... October 09, 2015 , ... With the FCPX LUT Vibrance pack ... footage. A LUT is a Lookup Table that contains a mathematical formula for modifying ... the table. This pack comes with 60 vibrant CUBE LUT files. , ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2015 , ... ... now offering a special promotion on Invisalign, the orthodontic system that uses clear, ... The aligners are almost invisible against the teeth, which allow patients to complete ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... 09, 2015 , ... Confidence Plus Insurance has just celebrated ... initiative that involves working with a series of local charities throughout the California ... Insurance is the Gleason Park Electric Violin Ensemble (GPEVE). , GPEVE provides a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
... , New Report Highlights Best and Worst State ... Va., Sept. 10 A new report by The Vision Council, ... for children entering school are inconsistent, impeding children,s ability to succeed ... visual processing of information, undetected vision problems can severely impact a ...
... largest network of Hispanic health advocates joins President Obama,s efforts to improve ... , WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 "There was a clear ... reform. We need to work together to get the job done and ... our history, it is essential that we do this to support America,s ...
... , Statement attributable to: J. James Rohack, M.D. President, ... that Medical Liability Reform is Needed , , ... is unacceptable. The AMA will continue to work for reform that makes ... opportunity this year to achieve meaningful health reform for America,s patients and ...
... Sept. 9 In commemoration of the first September 11 National ... Los Angeles will host three 2-hour volunteer orientations for 100+ youth and ... tour of the chapter,s new state of the art Emergency Operation Center, ... recent California wildfires. , , What: ...
... MECHANICSBURG, Pa., Sept. 9 Select Medical Holdings ... the launch of its initial public offering of 33,333,333 shares ... is expected to be between $11.00 and $13.00 ... of common shares by Select, and Goldman, Sachs & Co., ...
... 9 As the nation awaits President Obama,s address on ... Philanthropic Collaborative (TPC) sent today a letter to the President ... foundations in the field of health. , , ... the social and economic effectiveness of health-related philanthropic activities. ...
Cached Medicine News:
(Date:10/8/2015)... Oct. 8, 2015  Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ... it will hold its R&D Day on November 4, ... – to 1:00 p.m. PT). The company will also ... at 9:00 a.m. ET (6:00 a.m. PT). ... --> Logo - ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , Oct. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... has awarded approximately $40 million to the Broad ... whole genome sequencing of 20,000 individuals, as well ... sequencing and metabolite profiling. Trans-Omics for ... an initial step toward a larger initiative, which ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... FRANCISCO , Oct. 8, 2015  Nektar Therapeutics ... the Company,s pain and oncology portfolio during an Investor ... - 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time in New ... carcinoma.  Details of the NKTR-214 Phase 1/2 clinical program ... CD122-biased immune-stimulatory cytokine designed to preferentially stimulate the production ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
... (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced today that the David ... be using the Roche LightCycler ® 480 System, a ... gene expression and genetic variation, in advanced cancer research. ... 480 System to support several key areas of research it ...
... 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Royal Philips Electronics ... States availability of the Ingenia MRI system, the ... Previously available in Europe, Canada and Japan, the ... Food and Drug Administration. Driven by Philips commitment ...
Cached Medicine Technology:
CDIs new improved Implant Stabilizer has super-soft elastic bands with lace trim....
Bras and Breast Support...
Post-Surgical compression garments...
... The Albumin Cobalt Binding (ACB®) Test is ... Modified Albumin (IMA®) by measuring the cobalt ... serum sample. First identified in the early ... comes in contact with ischemic tissue in ...
Medicine Products: