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Local Bone Marrow Expert Sees New Hope For Adults With Sickle Cell Disease

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(Dr. Henry Fung.  Photo provided by Fox Chase Cancer Center)

(Dr. Henry Fung. Photo provided by Fox Chase Cancer Center)

(Photo by Ed Fischer) Lynne Adkins
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By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new study shows promise for adults with sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell disease is a progressive and debilitaing ailment affecting the blood.

Dr. Henry Fung, director of the Temple Bone Marrow Transplant Program, says the best treatment is a bone marrow transplant after the immune system has been deliberately destroyed by high doses of chemotherapy.

It works for children, he points out, but adults suffer and can’t tolerate the treatment.

“The longer you are with sickle cell disease and you receive treatment, in particular blood transfusion, you are prone to develop complications,” Fung says.

But this study shows that using lower, less toxic doses of chemotherapy will work, and adults will do well.

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