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Promising Therapies in Sickle Cell Disease

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Despite the fact that sickle cell anemia was one of the first diseases to have a demonstrated genetic etiology, to date there is still only one approved therapy for this disease. Recent increases in our understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease should translate into improved and more rapid development of newer therapies. This review will focus on the following current and potential therapeutic strategies to reduce the morbidity of sickle cell anemia. 1) Therapies such as decitabine, hydroxyurea, butyrate, lenalidomide and pomalidomide, which decrease the polymerization rate of HbS by increasing the concentration of Hb F; 2) Drugs that decrease relative intracellular HbS concentration by increasing total cell volume via inhibition of normal membrane ion exchange channels, such as KCL Cotransporter and Gardos Channels. These inhibitors include magnesium pidolate, imidazole antimycotics, arginine and Senicapoc; 3) Treatment of sickle cell vasoocclusion through inhibition of endothelial or cell surface adhesion molecules, such ICAM 4 and αvβ3 integrins, by drugs related to the GPIIbIIIa inhibitors or adhesion molecule modulators, and 4) Attempts to achieve vasodilation by nitric oxide and antioxidant therapy. This review will discuss the status of these emerging therapies in the treatment of sickle cell anemia.

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Keywords: Sickle cell anemia therapy; review

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2009

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  • Cardiovascular & Hematological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in cardiovascular and hematological disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in cardiovascular and hematological disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for cardiovascular and hematological drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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