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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2013 Nov;24(4 Suppl):147-58. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2014.0008.

Sickle cell anemia: the impact of discovery, politics, and business.


Sickle cell anemia affects 100,000 African Americans. Frequent blood transfusions to prevent stroke lead to fatal iron-overload. Iron chelation with deferoxamine (DFO) requires expensive infusions. In the present study, we explore the feasibility of using a new delivery system for DFO, i.e., targeted liposome entrapped DFO (LDFO). Our results reveal that our novel formulation lowered the dosage requirements by 50%-75%, allowed for less frequent and shorter treatment durations, eliminating the need for a pump and the standard multi-night administration of DFO. In an iron-overloaded rat model, LDFO reduced iron in the liver, and also improved cardiac function. The lower dosage and improved safety profile makes our novel LDFO delivery system a highly desirable new therapy. Meanwhile, this system will also provide an ideal model for studying the mechanism of Fe overload-induced arrhythmias. The political and economic factors related to health care disparities are also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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