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SCIENCE FILE | Science in Brief

Marrow Transplants Cure Some Sickle Cell Anemia Cases, Study Says

August 08, 1996|From Times staff and wire reports

A multinational team of researchers has found that bone marrow transplants are an effective cure for sickle cell anemia but only for a small group of people who can get the right marrow match from a sibling. A study of 22 carefully selected children with a severe form of the disease found that 16 were apparently cured by the transplant. Two of the 22 died, while the transplant failed and the disease returned in the remaining four cases, the team reports in the August 8 New England Journal of Medicine.

Sickle cell disease afflicts about two in every 1,000 African Americans, a total of about 80,000 Americans. But the team cautioned that only about 6% of victims are sick enough to warrant the risky transplants.

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