Marrow swaps can reverse adult sickle cell disease

CHICAGO (AP) — A small but promising government study found that bone marrow transplants can reverse severe sickle cell disease in adults, just like in kids.

The technique is a modified version of what doctors have done in children. It worked in 26 of 30 adults studied. Donors are a brother or sister whose stem cell-rich bone marrow is a good match for the patient.

Doctors had avoided doing the transplants in adults because of concerns that the disease had taken a toll on their bodies.

But the researchers say the results show age shouldn’t be a barrier.

The study was done at a National Institutes of Health research hospital in Maryland. Results were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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