Scientific Literature

l-glutamine, crizanlizumab, voxelotor, and cell-based therapy for adult sickle cell disease: Hype or hope?

Leibovitch, J. N., Tambe, A. V., Cimpeanu, E., Poplawska, M., Jafri, F., Dutta, D., & Lim, S. H. Blood Reviews, 100925. (2022).

For more than two decades, hydroxyurea was the only therapeutic agent approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for sickle cell disease (SCD). Although curative allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplants (allo-HSCT) were also available, only very few patients underwent the procedure due to lack of matched-related donors.

However, therapeutic options for SCD patients increased dramatically in the last few years. Three new agents, l-glutamine, crizanlizumab, and voxelotor, were approved by the FDA for use in SCD patients. The number of SCD patients who underwent allo-HSCT also increased as a result of advances in the prevention of graft failure and graft-versus-host disease from using mismatched donor HSC. More recently gene therapy was made available on clinical trials. T

he increased treatment options for SCD have led to a sense of optimism and excitement among many physicians that these new approaches would alter the clinical course and disease burden. Although these newer agents do provide hope to SCD patients, the hyped-up responses need to be evaluated in the context of reality.

In this review, we will discuss and compare these new agents and cell-based therapy, evaluate their clinical and economic impacts, and examine their roles in reducing the disease burden.

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