Disease Information

Hematologic Disorders: Aplastic Anemia

Alternate Names: None

Definition

Aplastic anemia is a rare, non-contagious and often life-threatening disorder that results from the unexplained failure of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. A decrease in the production of blood cells means that patients are more susceptible to bleeding, fatigue and infections.

Incidence

Aplastic anemia affects two to six people per million worldwide. The disease is more prevalent in Asia than in the Western world. Most cases occur in older adults, but a significant number of children are affected.

Influencing Factors

Treatment Strategies

Current Research

St. Jude is preparing for a study for patients without a matched donor and in whom drug therapy was only partially successful. Investigators are planning to use a therapy that modifies the immune system in a different way than drug therapy. This therapy is expected to interrupt the disease process and allow the bone marrow to recover and produce blood cells again.

St. Jude is also developing a new bone marrow transplant regimen for patients who do not have a matched sibling donor and who do not respond to the drug therapy. 

 

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