BloodCenter of Wisconsin's Diagnostic Laboratories today announced the availability of an innovative Erythroid Chimerism test to monitor erythroid lineage chimerism in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. This allows the physician to directly gauge the success of the transplant in these patients and provides physicians with actionable information to guide patient care.
Sickle cell disease is a common and severe autosomal recessive disorder caused by a mutation in the hemoglobin gene. SCD affects approximately 100,000 people in the United States, one in every 300-500 African Americans. In SCD patients with severe clinical symptoms, allogeneic bone marrow transplantation can be used to replace the blood cell producing capacity, potentially curing them of the disease.
In patients with SCD, several studies have demonstrated that standard chimerism assays do not always reflect chimerism in the erythroid lineage. Since red cells do not contain DNA, chimerism of the erythroid compartment can be monitored using HbA and HbS transcripts produced from the hemoglobin gene and expressed in red cell progenitors.
"Efficient and accurate monitoring for post-transplant therapy is critical in order to properly manage patient care," said Daniel Bellissimo, Ph.D., director of BloodCenter's Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory. "The addition of BloodCenter's Erythroid Chimerism test reflects its ongoing commitment to advancing patient care by providing physicians worldwide with leading-edge testing in the area of molecular testing."