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Titolo: Recent advances in β-thalassemias.
Data di pubblicazione: 2011
Abstract: β-thalassemias are heterogeneous hereditary anemias characterized by a reduced output of β-globin chains. The disease is most frequent in the temperate regions of the world, where it represents an important health problem. In the last decades, several programs, aimed at controlling the birth rate of thalassemia newborns by screening and prenatal diagnosis of populations with high risk of β-thalassemia, have been successful accomplished. Bone marrow transplantation has offered a definitive cure for the fraction of patients with available donors. In the same time, steady improvements were made in the traditional clinical management of β-thalassemia patients. The introduction of the oral iron chelators deferiprone that preferentially chelates hearth iron and the development of novel NMR diagnostic methods has led to reduced morbility, increased survival and improved quality of life. More recently, major advances have being made in the discovery of critical modifier genes, such as Myb and especially BCL11A (B cell lymphoma 11A), a master regulator of HbF (fetal hemoglobin) and hemoglobin switching. Polimorphysms of BCL11A, Myb and γ-globin genes account for most of the variability in the clinical phenotypes in β-thalassemia and sickle cell anemia patients. Finally, the year 2010 has brought in the first successful experiment of gene therapy in a β-thalassemia patient, opening up the perspective of a generalized cure for all β- thalassemia patients.
Tipologia:1.1 Articolo in rivista

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