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TREATMENTS FOR SICKLE CELL ANEMIA



  May 07, 2024

TREATMENTS FOR SICKLE CELL ANEMIA



Sickle cell anemia, a severe genetic disorder impacting red blood cells, has traditionally been managed by alleviating symptoms and preventing complications. However, recent advancements have introduced treatments that address the condition's root causes, significantly improving patient outcomes.

Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT): BMT is increasingly recognized for its efficacy in treating both cancerous and non-cancerous conditions, including sickle cell anemia and thalassemia. The procedure involves replacing the patient’s malfunctioning bone marrow with healthy marrow. Notably, haploidentical BMT has shown results comparable to those of a full-matched BMT, with lower relapse rates than chemotherapy, making it a preferred option for blood-related diseases in India.

Gene Therapy: This innovative approach involves modifying genes to correct the genetic mutations responsible for sickle cell disease. Recent FDA approvals for gene therapies like betibegogene autotemcel (Skysona) and lentiglofilol (Breyanzi) mark significant milestones. These therapies modify a patient's stem cells to produce healthy red blood cells, which are then reintroduced into the patient’s body. Early results have shown a significant reduction in pain crises and enhanced life quality for sufferers.

Voxelotor: Approved by the FDA in 2019, Voxelotor increases hemoglobin's affinity for oxygen, which helps prevent red blood cells from sickling. Clinical trials have demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing painful episodes and boosting hemoglobin levels in affected individuals.

Crizanlizumab: Also FDA-approved in 2019, Crizanlizumab targets P-selectin, a protein that facilitates the adhesion of sickle cells to the walls of blood vessels, leading to vaso-occlusive crises. By inhibiting this protein, Crizanlizumab has been proven to decrease the frequency of these crises.

L-glutamine: Currently under investigation, L-glutamine is believed to protect red blood cells from oxidative stress, potentially reducing the occurrence of vaso-occlusive crises. Early research suggests promising outcomes for this therapy.

These therapies represent a significant shift towards more targeted and effective treatments for sickle cell disease, offering hope for better management and potentially a cure in the future. As these are relatively recent developments, ongoing research is crucial to fully ascertain their long-term safety and effectiveness. Patients are encouraged to discuss these options with their healthcare providers to determine the most appropriate treatment plan.


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