Study targets stroke prevention in children with sickle cell anemia

Oct 28, 2009

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators were recently awarded a $23 million federal grant to launch a national study of the drug hydroxyurea to prevent first strokes in children and adolescents with sickle cell anemia (SCA).

The effort will be the fifth at St. Jude involving hydroxyurea to treat children with SCA. The focus will be on SCA patients who have not suffered strokes but have been identified as high risk for the complication by transcranial Doppler ultrasound (TCD) screening. The five-year study is expected to include a total of 26 medical centers and about 140 patients.

"Our goal with this study is to prevent brain complications in with sickle cell disease," explained Russell Ware, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator for the study, which is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Ware chairs the St. Jude Department of Hematology and holds the Lemuel Diggs Endowed Chair in Sickle Cell Disease.

SCA is an inherited . In the U.S., it is diagnosed most frequently in African American individuals. The sickled they produce can disrupt circulation and cause pain, strokes and other debilitating and sometimes deadly complications.

The new study is called TWiTCH, short for TCD With Transfusions Changing to Hydroxyurea. Patients will be randomly assigned to either continue a standard therapy of monthly blood transfusions and chelation to remove the resulting iron buildup or to receive a daily dose of and monthly phlebotomy to remove excess iron. The goal is to compare the two treatments, including their ability to prevent a first .

Source: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Explore further: A handsome face could mean lower semen quality

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Gamers helping in Ebola research

Sep 01, 2014

Months before the recent Ebola outbreak erupted in Western Africa, killing more than a thousand people, scientists at the University of Washington's Institute for Protein Design were looking for a way to stop the deadly virus.

Carcinogenic role of a protein in liver decoded

Sep 01, 2014

The human protein EGFR controls cell growth. It has mutated in case of many cancer cells or exists in excessive numbers. For this reason it serves as a point of attack for target-oriented therapies. A study ...

User comments : 0