It was reported by the Nation.com this week that Apollo Hospitals, India's leading super specialty hospitals that “it would collaborate with Nigeria in treating sickle cell anemia and bone marrow transplantation.” It was explained in the article that the “hospital made this known at a two-day continuous medical education (CME) organized by Diamond Helix Medical Assistance for medical doctors in Lagos.”
Other important information displayed was “the hospital will work with the Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria so that patients would not have to travel to India for bone marrow transplant and other sickle cell disease problems.”What was stressed was that “Nigeria is already doing well in its treatment, adding that more can be done as sickle cell is very much a black people’s problem.”
This whole article shows that not only are specialty hospitals taking interest in sickle cell but whole communities, it gives hope for the future and that's something that is always needed.
For the original article follow the link below: http://thenationonlineng.net/hospital-partners-sickle-cell-foundation/
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By Sean Marshall
It was announced by Street Insider.com that Mast Therapeutics also known as NYSE:MSTX today released information explaining that their “nonclinical studies investigating vepoloxamer, its lead product candidate, will be featured in three poster sessions at the 57th Annual American Society of Hematology (ASH) Meeting and Exposition.” For those who need an update “The ASH Meeting is being held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, December 5 through December 8, 2015.”
The ASH meetings are all about the sharing of information around hematology, the study of blood. According to ASH's website these meetings are conducted help spread research knowledge as well as “the meetings provides an invaluable education experience and an opportunity to review thousands of scientific abstracts highlighting updates in the hottest topics in hematology.”
What this all means is that if NYSE:MSTX is willing to come forward publicly and announce that they have made some sort of breakthrough with hematology treatments it must be a big deal.
According to the report “the studies to be presented demonstrate the anti-adhesive effects of vepoloxamer on sickle red blood cells (RBC) as well as its protective effects on the membranes of red blood cells and platelets.”It was later expained by the report that vepoloxamer “was shown to result in statistically significant reductions in the number of adherent sickle RBC to immobilized vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM) and reductions in hemolysis in blood from patients with sickle cell disease.”
The last part of good news was that “in other studies, vepoloxamer was shown to preserve platelet function under extended storage conditions as well as prevent exposure of a marker of platelet damage (phosphatidyl serine) in blood samples from patients with SCD.”
So to summarize Mass Therapeutics newest drug Vepoloxamer is being shown off for what feats it can perform for the sickle cell community. This is great news. It means that people are one step closer to riding the world of sickle cell anemia.
Mind you there will always be side effects to every drug and with the amount of publicity generated from these events it means that the drug is most likely not cheap. Either way a cure for sickle cell disease is closer then ever.
The original article can be found here: http://www.streetinsider.com/Corporate+News/Mast+Therapeutics+(MSTX)+Announces+Vepoloxamer+Data+Selected+For+Presentation+at+ASH+Meeting/11076025.html
ASH's site can be found here: http://www.hematology.org/Annual-Meeting/
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By Sean Marshall
This week Lagos State governor Akinwunmi Ambode pledged his administration’s support towards completion of a bone marrow transplant center. For those who don't know Lagos is considered the largest city in Nigeria and a major financial center for the country. With an estimated population of 16,348,100. This means that even if a small fraction have sickle cell anemia it is often taken more seriously due to the economic factors in play.
It was reported by News 24 Nigeria that the “facility is under construction at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).” The idea behind the center is that it will save lives. In fact the article even pointed out that “envisaged this will be key to save the lives of people suffering sickle cell disorder.”
It was also explained that the governor made this proclamation when “the Chairman of Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria (SCFN), Prof. Olu Akinyanju, and Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Anneite Akinsete, visited him at the Lagos House in Ikeja.”
Ultimately this means that this was more of a political move to gain good publicity rather then for the betterment of the population. Although that could just be the pessimist speaking.
Other information worth mentioning included “the governor added that the state government would provide support in line with the cardinal programs of his administration to touch as many lives as possible.”
The original article can be found here:
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By Sean Marshall
It was announced this week by news medical net that a key protein in developing stem cells has been isolated. It was explained that these gene is “a key protein controlling stem cell properties that could make them more useful in regenerative medicine,”
The protein itself is called zinc finger protein 217 or ZEF17 for short. According to the report ZEF217 regulates “the actions of genes that maintain a balance between stem cell self-renewal and differentiation.” What this means is that ZPF217 can be used to maintain or even create therapeutic stem cells. The main focus is to use this protein to help cure cancer as explained by Martin Walsh PhD. “At the same time, as the human ZNF217 is associated with poor survival in a variety of cancers, understanding how this protein operates in physiological conditions may help to predict cancer risk, achieve earlier diagnosis and provide novel therapeutic approaches."
This doesn’t mean however that the implications for sickle cell anemia research isn't there. In fact the sickening of cells could be reversed of even stopped with a better understanding of ZEF217. The idea would be to apply the therapeutic methods on the particular DNA sequence that causes the red blood cells to sickle.
Then if applied properly red blood cells could take on the normal non circled trait allowing for a normal life without fear of sickle cell related illness or complications.
The original article can be found in the link below:
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By Sean Marshall
This week it was announced that the first national sickle cell anemia survey has closed. The survey was nation wide and had over 600 responses. This included 200 different responses per unique survey. The idea is to not gave them all identical because it can often cause issues with statistical analysis.
The survey was designed by the Pricker institute to improve “the quality of health and social care for all, the development and implementation,” the ideas the questions were based off of commissioned work by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for leadership in Applied Health Research and Care Northwest London. The short form is NIHR CLAHRC NWL it's a lot to take in and to be honest the length of the name can be overwhelming but the important thing to remember is that they are partnered with Sickle Cell Society and are doing great work.
The survey asked patients about their experiences focusing on “aspects of care that are important to them, including access to care services, information and support for their condition, and their views on care across inpatient, outpatient and emergency settings. Survey versions suitable for both pediatric and adult patients, and parents/ carers of young SCD patients, were available.”
It was explained that “final data is currently being analyzed by the Picker Institute and the key findings will be shared as soon as they are available.” So we'll be looking forward to the results and keep everyone posted in the mean time.
original article can be found here: http://www.blacknet.co.uk/first-national-survey-of-people-living-with-sickle-cell-disease-closes-for-analysis/
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This section is solely to let our Sickle Soldiers tell their story trials & tribulations alongside things they feel are wrong in the Sickle Cell Community