Clarence Moore, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, assistant professor at Shenandoah University in Ashburn, Virginia, discusses how stem cell therapy and heart health can help patients manage beta thalassemia.
How has the emergence of stem cell therapy changed the lives of people with beta thalassemia?
Stem cell therapy is offering a cure. So, with us really looking at stem cell therapy, with the more and more work [being done], we'll be able to see that these individuals will no longer have to experience this lifelong disease, and they could potentially be cured.
What is the importance of heart health for patients, especially those with beta thalassemia major?
Heart health is very important. When you look at one of the largest comorbidities that is associated with [beta thalassemia], it is heart health. You can see some cardiomyopathy develop. So, maintaining heart health is very important in decreasing the morbidity and mortality associated with the disease state.
What is the importance conducting blood tests to determine beta thalassemia types in young children?
I think that it's very important. Knowing upfront what disease or what type of beta thalassemia that these individuals may have is going to be vital for us to manage it. And if we're able to potentially manage that at the earlier stage, we could potentially have better outcomes in the future.