BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- A new treatment may one day make a huge difference for sickle cell patients.
A clinical trial for SelG1 from Selexys Pharmaceuticals is now underway across the country. It is called the SUSTAIN Phase 2 clinical trial.
Locally, The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Bethesda is conducting the trial. They are looking for sickle cell patients who meet the following criteria:
- Patients who have at least 2 documented pain crises per year.
- Patients who are at least 18 years old.
- Patients who are not pregnant
Dr. Ralph Boccia of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders says, "We have a trial now that has developed a monclonal antibody to block P-selectin. Hoping this will reduce the stickiness of the cells and allow good adequate blood flow through the microcirculation thereby reducing pain crises."
Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disease that affects about 1 out of every 500 of our African-American population. This results in a change of certain red cells that alters the shape into a sickle-like formation. This results in hardening of the cells and causes them to stick together, blocking the blood flow.