UPMC Hosts Family Sickle Cell Research Summit
WHAT: UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, the UPMC Adult Sickle Cell Disease Program and UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh will host a Family Sickle Cell Research Summit to highlight new treatment options at UPMC which have reversed sickle cell disease. Stem cell transplants have been effective in treating sickle cell disease in children, but, until now, have been too toxic to treat severe disease in adults. Now, UPMC researchers say clinical trials, using a modified stem cell transplant, have proven successful in these adult patients.
WHY: Sickle cell disease affects approximately 100,000 Americans and occurs mostly in African-Americans. Also called sickle cell anemia, this inherited blood disorder causes the body to produce abnormally shaped red blood cells which carry oxygen to the tissues of the body. Under a microscope, the normally round cells look like crescents or sickles. The sickle-shaped cells have a shorter life than normal red blood cells, often become lodged in blood vessels and block proper blood flow and cause damage to vital organs and pain. “Shine the Light on Sickle Cell” is the theme of the 10th anniversary of World Sickle Day. UPMC researchers will meet with patients, family members and caregivers to highlight stem cell transplants as a treatment option and provide information on pediatric and adult sickle cell programs at UPMC and through the Children’s Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc. in Pittsburgh (CSCF).
- Gregory J. Kato, M.D., professor of medicine in hematology/oncology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of the Sickle Cell Center of Excellence at Pitt and UPMC
- Michael L. Matthews, executive director, Children’s Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc.
- Sickle cell patients
- UPMC sickle cell researchers and physicians
WHERE: UPMC Montefiore Hospital, LHAS Auditorium 3459 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, 15213.
WHEN: 2:00 to 6 p.m., Wednesday, June 19
Note to Media: To cover this event, arrangements must be made in advance by contacting Cyndy Patton at 412-415-6085 or PattonC4@upmc.edu.
CREDIT: Healthwise 2018