Until very recently, sickle cell disease was a condition that left those diagnosed very few treatment options. What was available still left patients with moderate-to-severe pain episodes and the anemia commonly attributed to the chronic condition.
However, in recent months, new developments have led to the approval of two new drugs, Adakveo and Oxbryta, that could solve those problems and drastically improve the quality and length of life for patients diagnosed with sickle cell disease.
To gain more insights into the latest developments in sickle cell treatment and research, BlackDoctor.org spoke with Dr. Alexis Thompson, currently the Hematology Section Head at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and one of the world’s leading experts in hematology and oncology.
Could you speak to any recent developments that you’ve seen in sickle cell research that people should be made aware of? If so, how will they impact patients’ day-to-day lives?
Dr. Alexis Thompson: There are two principal categories of recent advances in sickle cell disease. One is the approval of new disease-modifying therapies. And the second is the early data on an additional option for a curative approach. I think these are both particularly exciting developments. These advances represent opportunities that really could change the lives of individuals with sickle cell disease.
Speaking of the medications, what could the introduction of new drugs like Adakveo and Oxbryta mean for patients going forward?