MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Mei X. Wu, Ph.D.
Wellman Center for Photomedicine
Massachusetts General Hospital
Harvard Medical School
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: An abnormally low count of platelets, a disorder called thrombocytopenia, is life-threatening owing to a high risk of uncontrollable bleeding. The disorder can be caused by a variety of conditions like trauma, an autoimmune disorder that attacks platelets, side-effects of some drugs especially chemotherapeutic drugs, and in premature newborns and patients with HIV-infection or a genetic defect leading to insufficient platelet generation. Platelet transfusion is the most effective modality to treat the disorder, but it is associated with complications including allergic reaction, fever, infection, and immunosuppression and limited only to the most severe patients. Several FDA-approved drugs are currently used in the clinics or clinical trials to increase platelet levels, which however must be carefully dosed to avoid excessive platelet production that is also dangerous and are not suitable to many forms of thrombocytopenia.