Blog | HemaCare

Progress in Sickle Cell Cure Research

Mar 26, 2018 10:08:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in disease-state products, Stem Cells, Blood Disorders

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The findings of a new study on sickle cell disease may lead to a new era in the approach to treatment.

Sickle cell disease (often referred to as sickle cell anemia) is a group of blood disorders in which the blood cells have an abnormal sickle shape instead of the biconcave disk shape. The sickle-shaped cells have a shorter life span (leading to anemia), but they also block normal blood flow leading to pain and organ dysfunction. There is no cure, and treatments that exist are aimed to control symptoms and related complications.

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Gene Therapy Tackles Sickle-Cell Disease

Jan 8, 2018 10:25:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Gene Therapy, Blood Disorders

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Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic disorder that affects red blood cells. This disease affects people of color more commonly and is due to the effect of abnormally shaped red blood cells (crescent or sickle-shaped instead of disc shaped). The misshapen red blood cells contain a form of hemoglobin, hemoglobin S, resulting from mutation of the beta-globin gene. Hemoglobin S does not hold oxygen efficiently, and the abnormal shape of the red blood cells prevents normal flow through the blood vessels, leading to vessel blockage. This leads to the pain and tissue damage seen in patients with SCD.

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Patient with Sickle Cell Disease Responds Favorably to Gene Therapy

Apr 11, 2017 11:01:21 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in biomedical research, Stem Cell Therapy, Stem Cells, Blood Disorders, Basic Research

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Sickle cell disease refers to a group of genetic blood disorders mainly affecting people of African, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean decent. Those with sickle cell disease carry the abnormal hemoglobin S in their red blood cells due to a mutation of the β-globin gene. Instead of having flexible, disc-shaped red blood cells, affected individuals have characteristic sickle-shaped, more rigid cells that cause disturbances in blood flow and tissue oxygenation.

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Leukopak Versus Buffy Coat

Feb 27, 2017 8:53:23 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Leukopak, Apheresis, Cell Therapy, Dendritic Cells, Platelets, Plasma, Blood Disorders

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Leukapheresis is a procedure to separate white bloods cells (including dendritic and progenitor cells) from a blood sample. Products obtained from leukapharesis procedures, leukopaks, are regularly used in the research setting. They are also used for cell therapy process development and clinically for certain treatment procedures for blood disorders. Another way to obtain white blood cells and platelets is to obtain them from the buffy coat.

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Point-of-Care Device May Improve Outcomes for Patients with Critical Limb Ischemia

Dec 21, 2016 12:00:16 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Bone Marrow, Stem Cells, Blood Disorders

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Researchers use bone marrow provided by HemaCare to help patients with critical limb ischemia.

Critical limb ischemia (CLI) is a condition caused by blocked arteries leading to low blood flow to the legs, feet, and other extremities. This causes severe pain, skin sores, gangrene, and can also lead to death. Amputation is often needed due to a lack of effective treatment options for CLI. The poor outcomes for patients with CLI have stimulated research efforts to find effective treatments such as autologous cell therapies. A new approach to treatment that is being investigated involves using cells from bone marrow aspirate supplied by HemaCare (bone marrow collected with a needle and syringe).

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