Author Interviews, Emory, Hematology, JAMA, Neurological Disorders, Stroke / 23.04.2018 Interview with : Dr. Hyacinth I Hyacinth MD Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorder Center, Emory Children’s Center, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, GA 30322 What is the background for this study? This study was conducted against the backdrop of a significantly higher risk for stroke among African Americans compared to non-Hispanic Whites, despite adjusting for traditional risk factors. Also, sickle cell disease is a well-known genetic risk factor for stroke and recent studies show that sickle cell trait is a risk factor for chronic kidney disease, venous thromboembolism and pulmonary embolism, all of which are potential risk factors for stroke. (more…)
Anemia, Author Interviews, Hematology, Pain Research / 06.12.2016 Interview with: Kenneth I. Ataga, MD Division of Hematology/Oncology University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The available treatments for acute painful episodes (also referred to as vaso-occlusive crises), the most common complication of sickle cell disease, are limited. Findings from the Phase II SUSTAIN study showed that crizanlizumab (formerly SelG1) at 5 mg/kg reduced the median rate of sickle cell disease-related pain crises per year by 45.3% vs. placebo in patients with or without concomitant hydroxyurea therapy. In addition, clinically meaningful reductions in the frequency of painful crises were observed regardless of sickle cell disease genotype.  (more…)
Anemia, Author Interviews, Hematology / 23.05.2016 Interview with: Samir K. Ballas MD FACP Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics Department of Medicine/Cardeza Foundation for Hematologic Research Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA What is the background for this study? Dr. Ballas: Previous studies have shown that the incidence of overt stroke is about 11% in children with sickle cell anemia by ages 2 - 20 years. Untreated stokes recur periodically with increasing severity and mortality. Transfusion therapy has been documented to decrease the frequency and morbidity of stroke in children by 90%. Accordingly, children who develop overt stroke are treated with chronic blood exchange transfusion to prevent the recurrence of additional strokes. When children reach the age of 18-20 years their medical care is transitioned to adult programs. This transition process is associated with several issues one of which is the discontinuation of chronic blood exchange transfusion in patients with history of overt stokes partly due to logistic considerations and partly due to lack of research in strokes in adult patients and the complications of chronic blood transfusion . What are the main findings? Dr. Ballas: The major finding of the study is that the discontinuation of chronic blood exchange after transition to adult programs is associated with increased mortality. All the patients who discontinued blood transfusion died within 3-5 years after transition whereas patients who continued having blood exchange transfusion survived to a mean age of 36 years at the time of writing this study. (more…)