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Safe Pregnancies Possible After Stem Cell Treatment for Blood Cancer

Women who've undergone stem cell treatments for blood cancers, or for illnesses such as sickle cell disease, can successfully bring a pregnancy to term, new research shows.

The German findings run counter to the perceived wisdom on this issue: Many such patients are typically told that safe pregnancies are out of the question if they've undergone what's known as "allogeneic hemat...

Another Study Finds CRISPR Gene Therapy Fights Sickle Cell

There's more good news in the battle against sickle cell disease, with another trial finding CRISPR gene-editing therapy delivering impressive results for patients.

"It's encouraging that this gene-editing treatment continues to show promising efficacy for sickle cell patien...

FDA Clears Sickle Cell Drug to Treat Another Blood Disorder

Casgevy, a groundbreaking treatment that was approved to treat sickle cell disease in December, was given the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's blessing on Tuesday to treat another inherited blood disorder.

Casgevy is the first CRISPR-based medicine, where gene editing is used to develop the treatment, to be approved for use in the United States.

The one-time dose permanently chan...

COVID Can Threaten Sickle Cell Patients, But Too Few Are Vaccinated

Sickle cell disease is one of many chronic health conditions that dramatically increases the risk of hospitalization and death in people infected by COVID-19.

Unfortunately, folks with sickle cell disease are much less likely to have received the best protection available to them -- a COVID vaccine.

Completion of the initial two-dose COVID vaccination series is nearly two times lowe...

FDA Approves Landmark Sickle Cell Gene Therapies

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved two milestone gene therapies for sickle cell disease, including the first treatment ever approved that uses gene-editing technology.

Casgevy, developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals of Boston and CRISPR Therapeutics of Switzerland, is the first medicine available in the United States to treat a genetic disease using the CRISPR gene-edit...

FDA Advisors Say New Gene Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease is Safe

A new gene therapy for sickle cell disease was deemed safe by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Tuesday, paving the way for full approval by early December.

The FDA had already decided that the therapy, known as exa-cel, was effective.

Developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals of Boston and CRISPR Therapeutics of Switzerland, exa-cel frees patients from the excruciatin...

FDA Advisors to Weigh New Gene Therapy for Sickle Cell Anemia

Patients with sickle cell disease may soon have two new treatments to try.

On Tuesday, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee will weigh the merits of a new gene therapy for the painful, inherited condition, which typically strikes Black people.

The agency is expected to make a decision on that therapy in early December, and it also plans to decide on a second new tr...

Gene-Tweaked Stem Cells Offer Hope Against Sickle Cell Disease

A type of gene therapy that precisely "edits" a key bit of DNA might offer a new way to treat sickle cell disease -- a painful inherited condition that largely strikes Black children and adults.

That's according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine desc...

More Evidence Gene Therapy Might Cure Sickle Cell Disease

A clinical trial that's attempting to discover a cure for sickle cell disease has found a new gene therapy to be safe and successful in four patients.

Two of the patients were treated at Cleveland Clinic Children's in Ohio, and doctors there are hopeful that their positive results will be borne out in future research.

"New treatments like this are critical for people who have sickle...

Sickle Cell Gene Therapy Can Cure, But Costs Almost $3 Million. Who Will Pay?

An exceptionally pricey gene therapy cure for sickle cell disease could soon be available, but it's not clear whether insurance companies will balk at the cost and deny coverage.

On the surface, the gene therapy does not appear as cost-effective as the grinding medical care that sickle cell patients now receive, according to a new analysis.

Gene therapy applied just once to a sickle...

Knee Replacement More Challenging in People With Sickle Cell

While joint reconstruction surgeries are fairly common, they may be anything but routine for people with sickle cell disease.

Patients with the blood disorder who undergo total knee replacement are at a higher risk for complications than other patients, according to a new large-scale study.

"SCD patients undergoing total knee replacement need a multidisciplinary approach and ma...

Too Few Kids With Sickle Cell Anemia Get Screened for Stroke Risk

Too few children with sickle cell anemia are getting the recommended screening tests for stroke, a common complication of this disease, a new government report finds.

What's more, many aren't receiving

  • By Denise Mann HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 21, 2022
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  • Could High-Dose Folic Acid Raise COVID Risks?

    Folic acid, a B vitamin that's used widely to fortify foods and lower the risk of birth defects, may carry a hidden risk for those who have to take huge quantities of it: A new study shows those folks were more likely to get COVID-19 and to die from it.

    "We examined whether COVID-19 diagnosis and death were related to the large doses of folic acid -- five times the safe upper limit -- pre...

    More Diverse Pool of Blood Donors Needed to Help Sickle Cell Patients

    A network that receives and supplies blood for transfusions nationwide is calling for more diverse blood donors.

    Less than 20% of blood donations are from people of color, but those donations are essential. Frequently transfused patients often require blood from donors with similar ethnic and racial backgrounds.

    Those who need frequent transfusions include people with

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 6, 2022
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  • The High Cost of Living With Sickle Cell Disease

    Americans with sickle cell disease who have private insurance face average out-of-pocket costs of $1,300 a year and a lifetime total of $44,000, new research reveals.

    That means that their out-of-pocket expenses are nearly four times higher compared to people without the inherited blood disorder, the

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 23, 2022
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  • Prescription Steroids Can Pose Dangers for Sickle Cell Patients

    People with sickle cell disease who take corticosteroids to treat asthma or inflammation may suffer severe pain and even need to be hospitalized, researchers report.

    This reaction to corticosteroids can be particularly severe among older people, women and patients not taking the drug hydroxyurea to treat their sickle cell symptoms. These were the most likely to be hospitalized, the study ...

    Could Gene Therapy Help Cure Sickle Cell Disease?

    A gene therapy that could provide a permanent cure for sickle cell disease continues to show success through a third wave of patients, researchers report.

    The therapy, LentiGlobin, restored normal blood function in 35 sickle cell patients who had the one-time procedure, according to clinical trial findings published Dec. 12 in the

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 13, 2021
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  • Drug Might Stop Heart Trouble Linked to Sickle Cell Anemia

    Treating sickle cell anemia with the drug hydroxyurea may also reverse related heart abnormalities, a new study suggests.

    Heart issues are common among people with sickle cell disease. Among them are enlargement of the heart and an impaired ability to relax heart muscles, a condition called diastolic dysfunction that can lead to heart disease and heart failure and death. Long-term treatme...

    Certain Sickle Cell Disease Traits Can Raise Odds for Severe COVID

    People with sickle cell disease who have a history of severe pain episodes and coexisting organ conditions have an increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness, a new study suggests.

    "This study tells us that all individuals with sickle cell disease are not at equal levels of risk," said study author Dr. Lana Mucalo, of the Medical College of Wisconsin. "Patients with a history of pain, as ...

    Sickle Cell Plagues Many Black Americans, But There's Hope for Better Treatments

    It's been more than six months since Brandy Compton last landed in a hospital emergency room.

    That's an amazing medical achievement, brought about by scientific breakthroughs that have been unfortunately overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic, experts say.

    Compton, 31, was born with sickle cell disease, a genetic condition that primarily affects people of African descent.


    Gene Editing Technique Corrects Sickle Cell Disease in Mice

    Researchers are using mice to study a potential new treatment that could help patients who have sickle cell disease, without some of the risks and side effects of existing therapies.

    The investigators reported using genetic-based editing on mice to convert a disease-causing hemoglobin gene to a benign variant that would enable healthy blood cell production.

    Sickle cell disease (SCD...

    Patients With Sickle Cell Disease Often Overlooked for Life-Saving Kidney Transplants

    People with kidney failure related to sickle cell disease are less likely to receive a transplant than those without sickle cell disease, but it could be life-saving for them, a new study finds.

    Sickle cell disease is a risk factor for kidney failure, and adults with sickle cell-related kidney failure who are on long-term dialysis have high rates of early death.

    Kidney transplant is...

    Sickle Cell Puts Black Patients at Higher Risk for Severe COVID

    Sickle cell disease increases the risk of death or serious complications from COVID-19 infection, a pair of new studies suggests.

    People with sickle cell disease -- a genetic blood disorder predominantly found in Black people -- are 6.2 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than the general Black population of the United States, one study found.

    "Sickle cell disease patients should...

    Could Gene Therapy Cure Sickle Cell Disease? Two New Studies Raise Hopes

    A pair of new gene therapies promise a potentially lasting cure for sickle cell disease by subtly altering the genetic information in patients' bone marrow cells, researchers report.

    Both therapies work by switching on a gene that promotes production of fetal hemoglobin, said Dr. Lewis Hsu, chief medical officer of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.

    Sickle cell dis...

    What People With Sickle Cell Disease Need to Know About COVID-19

    People with sickle cell disease are at increased risk for severe complications from COVID-19, an expert says.

    "Many patients experience a pain crisis, also known as a vaso-occlusive crisis, early in COVID-19 infection before respiratory symptoms develop," said Dr. Jennie Hart, clinical director of pediatric hematology/oncology at Herman and Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sina...

    Time to Rethink Ideas About Exercise, Sickle Cell Disease?

    Mild exercise is safe and beneficial for people with sickle cell disease, contrary to traditional beliefs, a new study finds.

    Sickle cell disease affects blood flow in the body. Because strenuous exercise boosts blood flow, it can lead to heart problems and severe pain in someone with sickle cell. As a result, many patients are advised to avoid all types of exercise.


    August Is Deadliest Month for Young Football Players

    It is an annual rite of summer: sending young men out on football fields across America in the sweltering August heat for grueling practice sessions designed to prepare them for the coming season.

    But a new study shows the ritual can be costly if players are pushed too hard. It is the most common way players die of non-traumatic injuries in high school and college football.


    New Moms Can Save a Life By Donating Cord Blood

    Pregnant women should keep in mind that donating their umbilical cord blood could save lives, a clinical cell therapy expert says.

    Cord blood is the blood collected from the umbilical cord and placenta after the birth of a healthy baby, said Fabio Triolo. He is director of the Cellular Therapy Core laboratories at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

    Cord bl...

    Experimental Drug Shows Early Promise Against Sickle Cell Disease

    An experimental drug for sickle cell disease reduced anemia and boosted the health of red blood cells in patients, according to a new study.

    Whether the drug, voxelotor, will have long-term health benefits to patients remains to be seen.

    But if approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "people living with sickle cell disease might have a new, once daily, tol...

    Insurers' Denials of Opioid Coverage Spurs CDC to Clarify Guidelines

    People with severe pain from cancer or sickle cell anemia should not be denied coverage for opioid painkillers, a new clarification on federal guidelines states.

    In the wake of the national opioid epidemic, various medical societies had encouraged doctors to rein in prescriptions for the powerful painkillers.

    In 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publi...

    Baby Monkey May Offer Hope to Preserving Fertility of Kids With Cancer

    She's cute, and perhaps a medical breakthrough.

    Scientists say they have used frozen testicular tissue to achieve the birth of a healthy baby monkey named Grady -- a success they hope to eventually translate to childhood cancer survivors whose treatment has left them infertile.

    Infertility is a potential side effect of the chemotherapy and radiation used to treat various can...