Cord Blood Transplantation for Sickle Cell Anemia and Thalassemia
Sibling Donor Cord Blood Banking and Transplantation
  • Phase

    Phase 2
  • Study Type

  • Status

    Completed No Results Posted
  • Study Participants

This study will develop a national cord blood bank for siblings of patients with hemoglobinopathies and thalassemia.

During the past decade, a number of advances have been made in the treatment of patients with sickle cell anemia and thalassemia. Among these advances is allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, which is the only current treatment that offers a potential for cure. In sickle cell anemia, transplantation has been performed in patients who have had advanced organ damage. In thalassemia, transplantation has been performed before having any evidence of iron-related tissue damage. Due to concerns over engraftment and graft versus host disease (GVHD), transplants for patients with hemoglobinopathies have been limited to situations in which a human leukocyte antigen (HLA) compatible donor existed. Unfortunately, an HLA-matched related donor is often not available. Umbilical cord blood (UCB), a recently recognized source of hematopoietic stem cells, has been used to successfully transplant bone marrow to over 500 patients. The potential advantage of cord blood over other donor sources of stem cells is the minimal risk of high-grade GVHD (even without complete HLA compatibility).


This study will establish a national sibling donor cord blood (SDCB) program, evaluate its use in a multi-center pilot study of transplantation, and develop a Web-based data management system to support these two projects. A multi-center pilot study was conducted on cord blood transplantation in children with either sickle cell disease or thalassemia. The investigators tested the hypothesis that a novel immunosuppressive conditioning regimen (fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and busulfan) and post transplant therapy (mycophenolate mofetil and cyclosporine) would improve engraftment rates and prevent disease recurrence. The effect of SDCB transplantation on hematologic parameters and GVHD was monitored. Enrollment in the study was suspended on December 29, 2003. The protocol was revised, replacing the previous conditioning regimen of fludarabine, busulfan, and cyclophosphamide with a more conventional regimen of rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin (Sangstat), busulfan, and cyclophosphamide. The revised protocol is open for enrollment.
Study Started
Jan 31
Primary Completion
Aug 31
Study Completion
Aug 31
Last Update
Jul 29

Drug Sangstat

Drug Cyclophosphamide

Drug Busulfan

Drug Mycophenolate Mofetil

Drug Cyclosporine

Procedure Cord Blood Transplantation


Inclusion Criteria:

Suitable UCB collection from an HLA-identical sibling

Sickle cell anemia (Hb SS or S beta thalassemia) with significant disease manifestations as defined by at least one of the following criteria:

A history of painful events defined as three or more painful events in the 2 years prior to enrollment. Pain may occur in typical sites associated with vaso-occlusive painful events and cannot be explained by causes other than sickle cell disease. The pain must last at least 4 hours and require treatment with either parenteral narcotics, an equianalgesic dose of oral narcotics (if pain is treated in a local facility where parenteral narcotics are not routinely used to treat painful events), or parenteral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Painful events managed at home will be considered only if there is documentation of the event in a clinical record that may be reviewed by an investigator.
Acute chest syndrome (ACS) with two or more episodes of ACS with the development of a new infiltrate on chest radiograph and/or having a perfusion defect demonstrable on a lung radioisotope scan
Any combination of painful events and episodes of ACS that total three events in the 2 years before transplantation
Any clinically significant neurologic event (stroke or hemorrhage) or any neurologic defect lasting more than 24 hours
Abnormal cerebral MRI and abnormal cerebral MRA
An episode of dactylitis in the first year of life with significant anemia (Hbg less than 7 g/dL), or leukocytosis in the second year of life such that the risk of a severe adverse outcome before 18 years of age exceeds 54% (as defined by the cooperative study of sickle cell disease (CSSCD) infant cohort study)
History of positive trans-cranial Doppler studies (average greater than 200 cm/sec)
Beta thalassemia major with significant disease manifestations as defined by the following criteria: Beta thalassemia genotype consistent with clinical diagnosis of beta thalassemia major (could include patients with E-beta thalassemia genotype) and requiring eight or more red blood cell (RBC) transfusions a year and iron chelation therapy. Younger patients who are at risk of transfusional iron overload but who have not yet initiated iron chelation therapy will be eligible.

Adequate physical function as measured by the following criteria:

Cardiac: Asymptomatic or, if symptomatic, then left ventricular ejection fraction at rest must be greater than 40% and must improve with exercise, or shortening fraction greater than 26%
Hepatic: Less than 5 times the clinical baseline of AST and less than 2.5 times the clinical baseline mg/dL of total serum bilirubin (clinical baseline is determined from the mean of the four most recent test results)
Renal: Serum creatinine within normal range for age or if serum creatinine is outside normal range for age then renal function (creatinine clearance or GFR) greater than 50% of the lower limit of normal (LLN) for age
Pulmonary: Asymptomatic, or, if symptomatic, DLCO, FEV1, FEC (diffusion capacity) greater than 45% of predicted (corrected for hemoglobin); if unable to obtain PFT, oxygen saturation greater than 85% on room air
No Results Posted