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Blood Disorders Blog

Gene Mutations Tied to Leukemia Rise With Age, Study Finds

Posted 9 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 26, 2015 – For many people, an increase in genetic mutations that could trigger leukemia seems to be an inevitable part of aging, a new study finds. The British researchers looked specifically at mutations in blood stem cells. "Over time, the probability of these cells acquiring mutations rises," co-lead author Thomas McKerrell, of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said in an institute news release. "What surprised us was that we found these mutations in such a large proportion of elderly people," he added. In the study, researchers looked at more than 4,200 people without any evidence of blood cancer. They found that up to 20 percent of people aged 50 to 60, and more than 70 percent of people older than 90, have blood cells with the same gene changes seen in leukemia. Just carrying a particular mutation doesn't mean that a leukemia is guaranteed, however. "Leukemia ... Read more

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Many Kids Who Undergo Stem Cell Transplants Must Return to Hospital

Posted 24 Apr 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 24 – Nearly two-thirds of children who received stem cell transplants were readmitted to the hospital within six months for treatment of problems such as infections and unexplained fevers, a new study finds. Children who were given stem cells donated by other people were twice as likely to be readmitted as those who received their own stem cells, said the researchers at Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center in Boston. "No one had ever looked at these data in children," Dr. Leslie Lehmann, clinical director of pediatric stem cell transplantation, said in a cancer center news release. "This is very important information and will allow us to counsel families appropriately, as well as try to devise interventions that reduce the rate of readmissions." Lehmann and Harvard Medical School student David Shulman analyzed the medical records of 129 children who had stem ... Read more

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Off-Label Use of Clotting Drug Soars, Report Finds

Posted 18 Apr 2011 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 18 – Hospitals are using a pricey blood-clotting drug in treating people who do not have hemophilia, a rare disorder in which blood does not clot normally – even though its use in such patients is potentially risky, according to new research. Stanford University researchers found that use of the drug, known as recombinant factor 7a, grew by 140 times from use in 125 cases in 2000 to 17,813 in 2008, with off-label uses accounting for most of the increase. The $10,000-a-dose drug was used in people with hemophilia just 4 percent of the time, according to U.S. hospital statistics from 2000 to 2008. The rest of the time, it was used during heart surgery and to treat medical problems such as trauma and bleeding in the brain. The researchers content that such use puts patients at risk for heart attack and stroke because the drug can boost the risk of blood clots. "The stakes ... Read more

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Gene Rx May Fight Severe Blood Disorder

Posted 15 Sep 2010 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 15 – Patients suffering from a severe, inherited blood disorder may one day benefit from a new gene therapy and no longer need regular blood transfusions, new research suggests. However, far more study is needed to determine whether the therapy is safe and effective. So far only one patient has received the experimental treatment, and the researchers have followed him for only three years. The blood disorder – beta-thalassemia – occurs when a crucial blood protein known as beta globin is missing from the red blood cells that carry oxygen. Without beta globin, many of the red blood cells die off, causing severe anemia and eventually death if the person goes untreated. Beta-thalassemia mostly affects people of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian and Chinese descent. Some 100,000 children are born with the disease each year around the world, according to the ... Read more

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