Sickle cell disease, the most common inherited blood disorder, causes blood to clog in the tiny vessels and organs of the body. Sixty percent-80 percent of people with sickle cells are Black and 1 in 13 Black babies carry the gene. Today, 75 percent of sickle cell cases worldwide occur in Africa.
Now, however, French doctors may have found a cure after a 13-year-old patient received treatment at Necker Children’s Hospital and now shows no sign of the disease. The treatment began with doctors extracting bone marrow, harvesting stem cells, then alternating genetic instructions so they would produce normal hemoglobin. Once the stem cells were returned to the bloodstream via IV, the patient underwent four days of chemotherapy. Doctors hope to make the treatment available to all patients living with the disease.
This Atlanta Black Star video educates viewers about sickle cell anemia and highlights a successful treatment in France.