Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have tried a new cure on a woman with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura(TPP), which has offered great hope. TPP is a rare blood disease in which one of the proteins in the blood clotting system is missing. This protein is a regulatory molecule and, without it, one of the other clotting proteins sticks to itself, often triggering heart attack or stroke. Though this disease is very rare, occurring in only about 3000 people in a year in the US, it is very serious - being fatal in up to 90 per cent of cases.
Patients with TPP have been traditionally treated using a strategy called plasmapheresis, which is similar to kidney dialysis where the blood is replaced with healthy blood. However, the patient who underwent the new treatment did not respond to the standard treatment and was subjected to immune suppression with two drugs - rituximab and cyclophosphamide. Researchers said that the new treatment resulted in a complete recovery, raising hopes of those suffering from TPP. They also added that this study gained importance since it shed light on the mechanism of clotting that could benefit many more people.