Sickle cell anemia can be cured with stem cell transplant

Prof. Dr. Hakan Özdogu stated that in sickle cell anemia, the most common disease among hemoglobin disorders in the world, red blood cells, namely erythrocytes, take the shape of sickle under certain voltages. Prof. Dr. Özdogu said: “They lose their flexibility and adhere easily to the vessel wall. This causes small blood vessels to become clogged. The blockage disrupts the nutrition of organs and tissues, causing painful attacks and damage to different tissues and organs depending on where they are located. Although sickle cell anemia is a genetic disease, more common in Africa, India, Middle East and Mediterranean countries, it is increasingly seen in the world due to reasons such as the effect of modern times on lifestyles, ease of transportation and lifting of boundaries between regions. In the epidemiological studies, there is a serious rate of 9.6 percent in the southern region of our country.

Sickle cell anemia seriously affects the quality of life

prof. Dr Özdoğan said: “Six months after birth, the clinical picture emerges with bone pain in different parts of the patient, which represents a significant problem and the cause of which cannot be immediately assessed. It also brings many problems such as infection with pain, dysfunction due to bone damage, kidney failure, liver damage, partial deterioration of mental activities, spleen enlargement in childhood. Organ damage that occurs over time shortens patients’ lives. This data may vary depending on the social and cultural situation, the accessibility of health services and the social environment in different countries.

“The follow-up of pregnant women with sickle cell anemia should be done in a well-equipped center”

Noting that with sickle cell anemia there can be serious risks such as miscarriage, preeclampsia, frequent urinary tract infections, painful crisis attacks caused by stress, developmental delay in the baby and life-threatening risks for the mother due to the decrease in the amount of oxygen carried by red blood cells transported to reach the tissues. These risks should be closely monitored in a good center and these risks reduced with supportive treatments. First of all, a detailed family and medical history is made of patients who apply for symptoms of sickle cell anemia. Some drug treatments are started after physical examination and tests. Regularly used drugs can prolong the pain crises, symptoms and hospitalizations of the patient. Patients’ life expectancy can be extended, albeit slightly. and gene therapies are moving forward rapidly so patients can regain full health,” he said.

Prof. Dr. Özdogu said: “Due to less organ damage, the success rate of this treatment in children is over 90 percent. We are one of the world’s leading adult stem cell transplant institutions in sickle cell therapy. I want my pride,” he said.

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