Sickle cell anemia: The impact of discovery, politics, and business

Lai Hua Xie, Angelia A. Doye, Eric Conley, Judith K. Gwathmey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Sickle cell anemia af ects 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 prof le 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-158
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Nov 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Cost
  • Deferoxamine
  • Health care disparity
  • Iron overload
  • Liposomal formulation
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Transfusion


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