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A cure for sickle cell?

Monday, March 31, 2008
A group of french doctors have preformed 69 transplants since 1988, with a reported 85% disease-free survival rate. These results improved after revising their mixture of anti-rejection drugs.

What exactly is sickle cell disease? It is an inherited blood disorder that affects 70,000 Americans alone. The majority are of African decent.

In a person not afflicted with the disease the red blood blood cells are shaped in a circle which allows them to move freely as the blood circulates.

But in a person with Sickle cell diseases the red blood cells are shaped in a half moon crescent shape, sort of like a farmers sickle which is where the name derived from.

The problem is that in that shape, they do not move freely, and can become bunched up in one area which is very painful. This is often referred to as a "crisis".

So what are the French Doctors transplanting? Stem cells in children.

How does it work? Well basically the stem cells activate production of healthy cells by the use of normal hemoglobin and suppressing the production of the abnormal hemoglobin.

These results seem promising.

Please share your thoughts, questions, comments.