Jul 26 2013

Severe Aplastic Anemia, What Is It?

Posted by Martin Smithmyer

What is it?

Severe Aplastic Anemia is a blood disorder whereby the body’s bone marrow doesn’t make enough new blood cells.The 3 types of blood cells your body needs are: red blood cells (to carry oxygen), white blood cells (to fight infection), and platelets (to control bleeding).

Treatment Options

Currently, the only option for curing aplastic anemia is an allogeneic transplant. Standard transplants use chemotherapy and radiation to destroy the cells. Depending on age, smaller transplants use no or very small amounts of chemotherapy and radiation. HLA typing, which is used to look at the proteins on the cells, is used to match patients.


A Clinical Trial

A study conducted by the doctors at Children’s Hospital of Orange County successfully transplanted autologous cord blood in a 9-year old male child with acquired severe aplastic anemia. The transplant was successful following immunoablative chemotherapy. They concluded that with increasing numbers of cord blood cryopreservations, the use of autologous cord blood in the treatment of severe aplastic anemia might be considered as an initial therapy. This was the first successful application of autologous cord blood hematopoietic cell transplantation in a pediatric patient with acquired Severe Aplastic Anemia using an immunoablative preparative regimen consisting of fludarabine and cyclophosphamide. This was found to be an effective and safe alternative to the complications with the use of matched unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplantation.

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