About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Adults Stop Anti-rejection Drugs Following Stem-cell Transplant may Reverse Sickle Cell Disease

by Dr. Enozia Vakil on July 3, 2014 at 5:49 PM
Font : A-A+

 Adults Stop Anti-rejection Drugs Following Stem-cell Transplant may Reverse Sickle Cell Disease

A new treatment option for older, sicker patients with sickle cell disease is on the way

Half of patients in a trial have safely stopped immunosuppressant medication following a modified blood stem-cell transplant for severe sickle cell disease, according to a study in the July 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The trial was conducted at the National Institutes of Health's Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, by researchers from NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Advertisement

The transplant done in the study reversed sickle cell disease in nearly all the patients. Despite having both donor stem-cells and their own cells in their blood, the patients stopped the immunosuppressant medication without experiencing rejection or graft-versus-host disease, in which donor cells attack the recipient. Both are common, serious side effects of transplants.

"Typically, stem-cell recipients must take immunosuppressants all their lives," said Matthew Hsieh, M.D., lead author on the paper and staff clinician at NIH. "That the patients who discontinued this medication were able to do so safely points to the stability of the partial transplant regimen."
Advertisement

In sickle cell disease (SCD) sickle-shaped cells block blood flow. It can cause severe pain, organ damage and stroke. The only cure is a blood stem-cell, or bone marrow, transplant. The partial transplant performed in the study is much less toxic than the standard "full" transplant, which uses high doses of chemotherapy to kill all of the patient's marrow before replacing it with donor marrow. Several patients in the study had less than half of their marrow replaced.

Immunosuppressant medication reduces immune system strength and can cause serious side effects such as infection and joint swelling. In this study, 15 of 30 adults stopped taking the medication under careful supervision one year after transplant and still had not experienced rejection or graft-versus-host disease at a median follow up of 3.4 years.

"Side effects caused by immunosuppressants can endanger patients already weakened by years of organ damage from sickle cell disease," said John F. Tisdale, M.D., the paper's senior author and a senior investigator at NIH. "Not having to permanently rely on this medication, along with use of the relatively less-toxic partial stem-cell transplant, means that even older patients and those with severe sickle cell disease may be able to reverse their condition."



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Can Weight Loss be Achieved by Drinking Water?
Can Exercise Counts Boost Your Life Counts? 
Prevent Hacking of Medical Devices: FDA Sounds Alarm
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Drug Toxicity Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Sickle Cell Anemia Drugs Banned in India 

Most Popular on Medindia

The Essence of Yoga Selfie Addiction Calculator Iron Intake Calculator Accident and Trauma Care Noscaphene (Noscapine) Drug Side Effects Calculator Blood - Sugar Chart How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Diaphragmatic Hernia Blood Pressure Calculator

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use