Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

National Study: New Ways To Prevent Stroke And Reduce Excess Iron In Sickle Cell Anemia

Date:
September 1, 2005
Source:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Summary:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital will lead a national Phase III clinical trial to investigate whether a new combination treatment can prevent a secondary stroke in children with sickle cell anemia (SCA) and eliminate the need for nightly injections with a drug that reduces iron overload in these patients.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital will lead a national Phase IIIclinical trial to investigate whether a new combination treatment canprevent a secondary stroke in children with sickle cell anemia (SCA)and eliminate the need for nightly injections with a drug that reducesiron overload in these patients.

Related Articles


The five-year study, called Stroke With Transfusions Changing toHydroxyurea (SWiTCH), is supported by a grant of more than $18 millionfrom the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and BloodInstitute) and includes 20 major pediatric sickle cell centers inaddition to St. Jude. The study is now being organized and will enrollthe first children in spring 2006. SCA is an inherited disease in whichthe oxygen-carrying protein in the red blood cells is abnormal, givingthe red cells a twisted (sickled) shape that can disrupt circulation,leading to pain, stroke, and other disabling and sometimes fatalcomplications.

SWiTCH holds promise for greatly simplifying and improving thelong-term care of children with the disease who have suffered strokes,according to Russell E. Ware, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the HematologyDivision at St. Jude and principal investigator of the clinical trial."Sickle cell anemia is a relentless disease that increasingly disableschildren as they grow," Ware said. "In fact, children with strokereceive difficult treatments with their own complications that must betreated. There is reason to hope that SWiTCH could finally give us abetter way to enhance the lives of these children, who suffer dailyfrom their disease and face the threat of stroke and early death."

The current treatment for children with SCA who have suffered strokesincludes monthly blood transfusions to provide red cells that are notsickled. This ongoing treatment must later be combined with nightlyinjections of a drug (Desferal )that eliminates excessive iron buildup caused by regular bloodtransfusions. Excessive iron damages internal organs--a conditioncalled hemochromatosis. The nightly injections of Desferal, an ironchelator, are painful and inconvenient, often prompting children toforego the injection, since iron buildup does not initially cause thechild discomfort, but the injections always do. Chelators are moleculesthat bind to metals so they can be eliminated from the body.

The goal of SWiTCH is to compare patient outcomes using bloodtransfusions with outcomes using hydroxyurea. Hydroxyurea will notcompletely eliminate the sickled red cells, but it is expected tostimulate production of enough red cells carrying fetal hemoglobin toreduce SCA symptoms. The study will also compare the efficacy of dailyat-home injections of Desferal with the less painful and moreconvenient monthly removal of blood (phlebotomy) at a medical facility.Half of the children in SWiTCH will remain on the standard treatment(transfusions and chelator) while the other half will be treated withthe alternative treatment (hydroxyurea and phlebotomy).

cludechildren who have already suffered one stroke and are at risk foradditional strokes because of blood vessel damage in their brains."This is the first study to directly compare transfusions withhydroxyurea for the treatment of SCA," Ware said. "If hydroxyurea cansuccessfully substitute for transfusions in children who already havecerebrovascular disease and damage to their brains, we will be veryinterested in also seeing if the drug can prevent this process as well.That would spare children with SCA from suffering first strokes andgreatly improve their lives."

###

The 20 other collaborating sites and the principal investigatorsinclude: Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX; Brigitta Mueller,M.D.), Children's Hospital-Boston (Boston, MA; Matthew Heeney, M.D.),Cincinnati Children's Hospital (Cincinnati, OH; Patrick Kelly, M.D.,Ph.D.), Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA; JanetKwiatkowski, M.D.), Children's Mercy Hospital-Missouri (Kansas City,MO; Gerald Woods, M.D.), Children's Hospital at Montefiore (New York,NY; Catherine Driscoll, M.D.), National Medical Center (Washington, DC;Caterina Minniti, M.D.), Columbia University (New York, NY; MargaretLee, M.D.), Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite (Atlanta,GA; Beatrice Files, M.D.), East Carolina University (Greenville, NC;Charles Daeschner, M.D.), Emory University (Atlanta, GA; Peter A. Lane,M.D.), Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI; Paul Scott, M.D.),Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, SC; Julio Barredo,M.D.), North Shore-Long Island Hospital; Banu Aygun, M.D.),SUNY-Downstate Medical Center (New York, NY; Scott Miller, M.D.),University of Alabama at Birmingham (Birmingham, AL; Lee Hilliard,M.D.), University of Miami (Miami, FL; Ofelia Alvarez, M.D.),University of Mississippi Medical Center (Jackson, MS; Rathi Iyer,M.D.), University of Texas Southwestern (Dallas, TX; Zora Rogers,M.D.), Wayne State University (Detroit, MI; Sharada Sarnaik, M.D.).

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized forits pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancerand other catastrophic diseases. Founded by late entertainer DannyThomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares itsdiscoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world.No family ever pays for treatments not covered by insurance, andfamilies without insurance are never asked to pay. St. Jude isfinancially supported by ALSAC, its fund-raising organization. For moreinformation, please visit www.stjude.org.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "National Study: New Ways To Prevent Stroke And Reduce Excess Iron In Sickle Cell Anemia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050901073926.htm>.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. (2005, September 1). National Study: New Ways To Prevent Stroke And Reduce Excess Iron In Sickle Cell Anemia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050901073926.htm
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "National Study: New Ways To Prevent Stroke And Reduce Excess Iron In Sickle Cell Anemia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050901073926.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins