By Sean Marshall
Big news this week according to newsmedical.com researchers at John Hopkins have “ successfully corrected a genetic error in stem cells from patients with sickle cell disease, and then used those cells to grow mature red blood cells.”It is explained that there are still some issues to overcome. For example “over time, patients’ bodies often begin to mount an immune response against the foreign blood. Their bodies quickly kill off the blood cells, so they have to get transfusions more and more frequently.”
It was noted that “A solution could be to grow blood cells in the lab that were matched to each patient’s own genetic material and thus could evade the immune system.” Also it mentioned that specific research groups have already devised a way to use stem cells to make human blood cells. But unfortunately there always seem to be issues with success. It was pointed out that “The problem for patients with sickle cell disease is that lab-grown stem cells with their genetic material would have the sickle cell defect.”
There is however the technique of “growing blood cells from stem cells will have to be made even more efficient and scaled up significantly. The lab-grown stem cells would also need to be tested for safety. This study shows it may be possible in the not-too-distant future to provide patients with sickle cell disease with an exciting new treatment option.”
If you want to see the original article it can be found here: http://www.news-medical.net/news/20150310/Researchers-use-stem-cells-from-sickle-cell-disease-patients-to-grow-mature-red-blood-cells.aspx
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