Article

Candidate sequence variants and fetal hemoglobin in children with sickle cell disease treated with hydroxyurea.

Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University, New York, New York, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 02/2013; 8(2):e55709. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055709
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fetal hemoglobin level is a heritable complex trait that strongly correlates swith the clinical severity of sickle cell disease. Only few genetic loci have been identified as robustly associated with fetal hemoglobin in patients with sickle cell disease, primarily adults. The sole approved pharmacologic therapy for this disease is hydroxyurea, with effects largely attributable to induction of fetal hemoglobin.
In a multi-site observational analysis of children with sickle cell disease, candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with baseline fetal hemoglobin levels in adult sickle cell disease were examined in children at baseline and induced by hydroxyurea therapy. For baseline levels, single marker analysis demonstrated significant association with BCL11A and the beta and epsilon globin loci (HBB and HBE, respectively), with an additive attributable variance from these loci of 23%. Among a subset of children on hydroxyurea, baseline fetal hemoglobin levels explained 33% of the variance in induced levels. The variant in HBE accounted for an additional 13% of the variance in induced levels, while variants in the HBB and BCL11A loci did not contribute beyond baseline levels.
These findings clarify the overlap between baseline and hydroxyurea-induced fetal hemoglobin levels in pediatric disease. Studies assessing influences of specific sequence variants in these and other genetic loci in larger populations and in unusual hydroxyurea responders are needed to further understand the maintenance and therapeutic induction of fetal hemoglobin in pediatric sickle cell disease.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Despite compelling evidence that hydroxyurea is safe and effective in sickle cell disease, it is prescribed sparingly due to several barriers like knowledge gaps in certain genotypes, apprehension about its safety and toxicity, and limited resources. We undertook this study to find out the efficacy and safety of HU in patients with HbSβ+-thalassemia with IVS1–5(G C) mutation. Procedure We registered 318 patients with HbSβ+-thalassemia with IVS1–5(G C) mutation. Of these, 203 were enrolled for hydroxyurea treatment at a low and fixed dose of 10 mg/kg/day. One hundred four patients (Group-I: 37 children and Group-II: 67 adults) with ≥2 years of hydroxyurea treatment were studied. Results The rate of vaso-occlusive crises, requirement of blood transfusion and rate of hospitalization reduced from 3 to 0.5, 1 to 0 and 1 to 0 in Group-I and 3 to 0, 1 to 0 and 0.5 to 0 in Group-II respectively after HU therapy (P < 0.0001). %HbF level, hemoglobin, MCV and MCH increased significantly, whereas HbS, WBC, platelet count, serum-bilirubin and LDH levels decreased significantly after HU therapy. It has been observed that along with fairly subtle hematological changes following HU therapy, there was a substantial clinical improvement occurred in these patients. Transient myelotoxicity was observed in 4.8%. There was minimal gonadal toxicity without affecting reproductive function. Conclusion In view of easy affordability, better acceptability, minimal toxicity, the need of infrequent monitoring and its potential effectiveness, low and fixed dose of hydroxyurea is suitable for treatment of patients with HbSβ+-thalassemia in resource poor setting.
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