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New treatment developed for sickle cell disease
Whenever this disease is named in India, a lot of eyebrows are raised because a fair amount of the population of our country suffers from this ailment.

The only way to tackle this disease is bone marrow transplant and it has raised hopes of a lot of sickle cell anemia sick patients in the country.

June 19 is observed as the world sickle day and it was very well leveraged to create awareness about the easier option of its care that is available now. Some of the very prominent symptoms of the sickle cell anemia are swollen hands and feet, intense pain in chest, abdomen and joints.

The basic cause of this disease is the shortage of red blood cells (RBCs), hence it is also characterised by chronic fatigue. If for some reasons infants or young children get exposed to this disease, it can result in delayed growth and delay in puberty.

"Bone marrow is the only treatment and curative option available for symptomatic sickle patients but earlier odds were stacked against it. As medicine advances, its treatment has become easier too. Sickle cell disease is a red cell disorder. Lack of matched sibling/related donor limits the option of BMT. Option of unrelated donor BMT is also difficult as there are not many voluntary marrow donors. In such a scenario, haploidentical transplant is the only alternative. So far haploidentical transplant in disease like SCD was very limited due to poor success rate. With improved strategies, we can get good results with relatively less complications," says Dr Dharma Choudhry, senior consultant and director, Hemato-oncology and Marrow Transplant, BLK Super Speciality Hospital.

The deadliness of this disease can be assessed by the fact that Nigeria looses 100,000 infants to this disease annually and in India, the western and the central parts are the most heavily affected areas.

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