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Transplant May Help Adults with Sickle Cell

A partial transplant of bone-marrow stem cells may reverse sickle cell disease in adults, a new study finds. People with sickle cell disease have abnormally shaped red blood cells. They get stuck in blood vessels. This causes organ damage, pain and other medical problems. The new study included 30 adults with severe sickle cell disease. Each of them had a brother or sister who was a suitable match for a bone-marrow stem cell transplant. The sibling donor's cells were mixed with some of the patient's own cells. During 3.4 years of follow-up, the partial transplant reversed sickle cell disease in 26 out of 30 people, researchers said. In these patients, the bone marrow began making normal red blood cells. Fifteen people also were able to stop taking drugs to prevent rejection of the transplant.

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