By Sean Marshall
It was announced this week by erurekalert.com as well as Boston medical and oakland medical that “treatment with the antiplatelet agent prasugrel does not significantly reduce the rate of pain crises or severe lung complications in children with sickle cell disease.” This information came to light by a report by the New England Journal of Medicine. This came as a shock because of the importance of the New England Journal is one of the largest and most geographically diverse international clinical trials on sickle cell disease to date.
This was proven by a “trial that was a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled phase 3 clinical trial held at 51 sites across 13 nations in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Led by researchers at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland,”
This was all done because the clinic was attempting to actually reach a goal. That goal was “to create a trial the to determine whether prasugrel, a medication used in adult patients to reduce thrombotic cardiovascular events, could also significantly reduce the rate of rate of vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs) -- defined as pain crises or acute chest syndrome -- in children with sickle cell disease.”
Prasugrel is a drug that is suppose to “prevent platelets from aggregating by blocking an enzyme called P2Y12.” The good news is that the drug “is approved for use in adult cardiac patients in the U.S. to reduce the risk of clots following angioplasty or insertion of an arterial stent.”
This is a mixed bag. On the one hand it is disappointing that a drug that is suppose to be helping is not and there isn't an immediate solution, but it's always a good thing to know that certain medications are still being tested despite use by the public.
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