January 24: SC News & Research Updates

Last week, the Gambian president announced that he has cured 11 people from sickle cell using an herbal concoction that was administered over a month. The president has not provided any documentation or research study to support his claims, but I am sure that the sickle cell community in Gambia will be heading to the village of Kanilai, where the president has a traditional medicine clinic. Too bad we don’t live closer to Gambia, huh. If there is any one from Gambia interested in checking this report out, please let me know what you find out. Read more about this announcement HERE.

New research published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation outline an amazing breakthrough by researchers in the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Using mice, researchers have been able to successfully transplant stem cells from the mother to the fetus/baby without the use of any drugs. This means that a mother’s BONE MARROW, could cure the fetus of several congenital ailments while in the womb!

The future holds this great possibility for mothers with sickle cell trait, of CURING their  fetus/baby that has sickle cell disease before the child is even born. This is done by transplanting T cells from the mother’s bone marrow, directly into their fetus while still pregnant, and have the baby come out with the sickle cell trait instead of the disease. In addition, as long as other donor cells were matched to the mother (like  her sister/sibling), the fetus did not reject the transplant. This is a huge step forward for sickle cell research, and hopefully they will be able to trial this on humans in the next few years. Read more about it HERE.

Tosin Ola

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