JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
REVIEW
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Curative options for sickle cell disease: haploidentical stem cell transplantation or gene therapy?

Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is curative in sickle cell disease (SCD); however, the lack of available matched donors makes this therapy out of reach for the majority of patients with SCD. Alternative donor sources such as haploidentical HSCT expand the donor pool to nearly all patients with SCD, with recent data showing high overall survival, limited toxicities, and effective reduction in acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Simultaneously, multiple gene therapy strategies are entering clinical trials with preliminary data showing their success, theoretically offering all patients yet another curative strategy without the morbidity and mortality of GVHD. As improvements are made for alternative donors in the allogeneic setting and as data emerge from gene therapy trials, the optimal curative strategy for any individual patient with SCD will be determined by many critical factors including efficacy, transplant morbidity and mortality, safety, patient disease status and preference, cost and applicability. Haploidentical may be the preferred choice now based mostly on availability of data; however, gene therapy is closing the gap and may ultimately prove to be the better option. Progress in both strategies, however, makes cure more attainable for the individual with SCD.

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