• Sickle Cell Anemia

  • Current Treatment

What are the current treatments?

Currently, there is no widespread cure for sickle cell anemia. However, treatment does exist. A combination of fluids, painkillers, antibiotics and transfusions are used to treat acute symptoms and complications.xiv Hydroxyurea, which is a drug originally developed to treat cancer, has been found to reduce the percentage of abnormal red blood cells and thus can decrease the risk of having complications in the first place. Like all patients who suffer from chronic disease, sickle cell patients can best manage their disease by a comprehensive multi-disciplinary approach.xv In the US today, people who suffer from sickle cell anemia can expect to live only between 40 and 60 years, although many people with the disease do live longer.

Bone marrow and umbilical cord blood transplants can be a cure on an individual basis, provided a proper donor match is available. Because donor matches are very rare, bone marrow and cord blood transplantation is not considered a fullproof cure. Still, the larger the pool of donated bone marrow and umbilical cord blood, the more sickle cell patients who can be cured.