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Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Thalassemia, Sickle Cell Disease, Developping Countries
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) still remains the only definitive cure currently available for patients with thalassemia and sickle cell anemia. Results of transplant in thalassemia and in sickle cell anemia have steadily improved over the last two decades due to improvements in preventive strategies, and effective control of transplant-related complications. From 2004 through 2009, 145 consecutive patients with thalassemia and sickle cell anemia, ethnically heterogeneous from Mediterranean and Middle East countries, were given HSCT in the International Center for Transplantation in Thalassemia and Sickle Cella Anemia in Rome. This experience is characterized by two peculiarities: patients were ethnically very heterogeneous and the vast majority of these patients were not regularly transfesed/chelated and therefore were highly sensitized due to RBC transfusions without leukodepletion filters. Consequently, they could have a high risk of graft rejection as a result of sensitization to HLA antigens. The Rome experience of SCT in patients with thalassemia and sickle cell anemia confirmed the results obtained in Pesaro, and most importantly showed the reproducibility of these results in other centers.