Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
NewsOpinionReaders Respond

Maryland research on sickle cell disease is tragically underfunded

Medical ResearchDiseases and Illnesses

I was pleased to read your coverage of the suffering endured by patients living with sickle cell disease ("As a sufferer, researcher and advocate, Johns Hopkins' Carlton Haywood has been battling the 'orphan disease' sickle cell all his life," July 7). The report noted that sickle cell disease research is tragically underfunded in Maryland.

The only known cure for SCD involves adult stem cells, either from a bone marrow or from an umbilical cord blood transplant. Dr. Javier Bolanos Meade, at Johns Hopkins, is doing research to expand the pool of bone marrow donors so that more patients can find a match. Other research shows SCD can be reversed with a transplant of cells from umbilical cord blood. Several children have already been cured of sickle cell disease with a cord blood transplant.

In February, the state Senate passed legislation establishing the Maryland Sickle Cell Disease Research Fund. The legislation would have established a grant program to fund SCD research using bone marrow and cord blood.

Unfortunately, the House of Delegates did not vote on the bill. Leaders of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund disparaged the bill's approach because they felt that alternative approaches, such as one they had already funded at $690,000, were better.

Their preferred approach is to devote 10-15 years to developing a universal blood supply using embryonic-like stem cells so that SCD patients can get red blood cell transfusions. This is not a cure, only a treatment that must be repeated often.

How sad that the leadership of the House of Delegates and the MSCRF put politics ahead of life-saving medical research. Kudos to the Senate for recognizing that adult stem cells are already saving lives.

Nancy E. Paltell, Edgewater

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Medical ResearchDiseases and Illnesses
  • Impeach Obama — for Obamacare, the deficit, immigration, Middle East policy, executive orders ...
    Impeach Obama — for Obamacare, the deficit, immigration, Middle East policy, executive orders ...

    The damage that President Obama has imposed on this nation exceeds all limits. He has violated the Constitution over and over again but avoided an impeachment by Congress that should have happened long ago.

  • O'Malley's new phosphorous rules are key to a clean bay

    Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed rules to limit pollution from manure are good for everyone who wants clean water ("Phosphorus rules, finally," Nov. 18). Experts say the phosphorus management tool is one of the biggest opportunities to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and local waters in more than 30...

  • Why is The Sun ignoring Gruber?
    Why is The Sun ignoring Gruber?

    This past week several videos have surfaced showing one of the architects of Obamacare saying it only passed because the American people are stupid and were lied to ("Who are you calling stupid?" Nov. 14). According to Jonathan Gruber, our elected officials lied to us about keeping our...

  • Dam cleanup too costly
    Dam cleanup too costly

    Regarding the recent commentary about the Conowingo Dam ("Maryland can enforce dam cleanup," Nov. 19), Bob Irvin is correct for the most part. However, let's keep in mind that the Conowingo is a man-made obstruction to sediment, leaves and tree logs that Mother Nature really intended to go to...

  • BDC may think local, but it pays outsiders
    BDC may think local, but it pays outsiders

    The article, "New BDC plan calls for small-business help" (Nov. 19), makes me wonder how the Baltimore Development Corporation could possibly be serious.

  • Sun's stupidity is showing
    Sun's stupidity is showing

    You have published several articles recently in support of Obamacare but have chosen to ignore the news of how this hoax was enacted through deception, fraud, misrepresentation of material facts and outright lies ("Who are you calling stupid?" Nov. 14)!

Comments
Loading