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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 175-179

Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in Nigerian sickle cell anaemia children patients

1 International Center for Transplantation in Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Anemia, Mediterranean Institute of Hematology, Policlinic Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
2 Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria, Lagos, Nigeria
3 National Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria
4 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, College of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Antonella Isgro
International Center for Transplantation in Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Anemia, Mediterranean Institute of Hematology, Policlinic Tor Vergata, Rome
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Sickle cell anaemia (SCA) remains associated with high risks of morbidity and early death. Children with SCA are at high risk for ischaemic stroke and transient ischaemic attacks, secondary to intracranial arteriopathy involving carotid and cerebral arteries. Allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the only curative treatment for SCA. We report our experience with transplantation in a group of patients with the Black African variant of SCA. Patients and Methods: This study included 31 consecutive SCA patients who underwent bone marrow transplantation from human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-identical sibling donors between 2010 and 2014 following a myeloablative-conditioning regimen. Results: The median patient age was 10 years (range 2-17 years). Before transplantation, 14 patients had recurrent, painful, vaso-occlusive crisis; ten patients had recurrent painful crisis in association with acute chest syndrome; three patients experienced ischaemic stroke and recurrent vaso-occlusive crisis; two patients experienced ischaemic stroke; one patient exhibited leukocytosis; and one patient exhibited priapism. Of the 31 patients, 28 survived without sickle cell disease, with Lansky/Karnofsky scores of 100. All surviving patients remained free of any SCA-related events after transplantation. Conclusion: The protocols used for the preparation to the transplant in thalassaemia are very effective also in the other severe haemoglobinopathy as in the sickle cell anaemia with 90% disease free survival. Today, if a SCA patient has a HLA identical family member, the cellular gene therapy through the transplantation of the allogeneic haemopoietic cell should be performed. Tomorrow, hopefully, the autologous genetically corrected stem cell will break down the wall of the immunological incompatibility.

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