Promising Research for a Cure for Sickle Cell Disease

New research by Suzanne Ildstad of the University of Louisville and Joanne Kurtzberg at Duke University has produced promising results in efforts to find a cure for sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell disease can affect people of any race but it is far more common among African Americans than it is among whites. About one in every 500 African-American children is born with the sickle cell trait.

The new research involves a “mini” bone marrow transplant that is done on an outpatient basis. The transplanted bone marrow is sufficient to produce enough normal red blood cells to eliminate symptoms of sickle cell disease. Trials of the new procedure found that two of six patients were cured and a third patient showed significant improvement.