Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Mental health and wellness in sickle cell disease

A growing concern among the sickle cell community surrounds the lack of mental health and wellness services. Many in the community deal with anxiety and depression. It is well known how intricately connected mental and physical health are. So if we know that stress can trigger a psychological crisis which in turn triggers a physical pain crisis, why do we not automatically include mental health services within patient ...more »

Submitted by (@sicklecellwarrior)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Many in the SCD community feel like providers do not take a proactive approach to mental health. A comprehensive approach to developing mental health and wellness services and programs provides an opportunity to address factors contributing to morbidity, and perhaps mortality, in the SCD community, outside of the hospital walls.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Sickle Cell Warriors, Inc. community members

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38 up votes
13 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Sickle cell disease and fatigue

What factors, other than hemoglobin count, are involved in the extreme fatigue experienced by individuals living with sickle cell disease?

Submitted by (@sicklecellwarrior)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Many in the sickle cell community report continuous fatigue that interrupts their daily activities in spite of normal, or above baseline, hemoglobin levels

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Sickle Cell Warriors, Inc. community members

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17 net votes
29 up votes
12 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Implications of Sickle Cell Trait

What are the healthcare implications of sickle cell trait?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Millions of people in the U.S and throughout the world have sickle cell trait, yet other than its impact on athletes and the recent finding that it may significantly raise the risk of chronic kidney disease, little is known about the trait’s effect on the health of those who carry it. Additional research is needed to further elucidate the implications of sickle cell trait alone, in combination with other genetic tendencies or in response to certain environmental factors. Findings can be used to provide evidence-based clinical guidance for the millions of people who may be affected

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Addressing this question is feasible. Obtaining sufficient long-term data to answer these questions may be challenging.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : The Sickle Cell Association of New Jersey

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6 net votes
6 up votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Identification and validation of surrogate endpoints for long-term morbidity in Sickle Cell Disease

Research in sickle cell disease (SCD) has mostly focused on preventing or treating acute medical events, such as vaso-occlusive pain, acute chest syndrome, and, in pediatric patients, acute strokes. Chronic SCD complications such as chronic kidney disease or pulmonary hypertension, develop over decades, thus are poor choices for clinical trial endpoints. There is a great need to develop surrogate endpoints that predict ...more »

Submitted by (@hulbertm)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Longitudinal cohorts of SCD patients, spanning childhood and adulthood, with biobanking DNA, plasma, and serum, and standardized clinical and imaging assessments will allow identification predictors of negative clinical outcomes. An NHLBI-funded national SCD clinical registry with biobanking will be necessary to validate any surrogate endpoints.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Monica Hulbert

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13 net votes
16 up votes
3 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Implementation Science to Improve Care in Sickle Cell Disease

There are approximately 100,000 individuals living with sickle cell disease in the US, however study after study has shown that many lack access to the few existing evidence based interventions such as hydroxyurea. We need to investigate novel ways to increase acess to hematology care and disease modifying therapies.

Submitted by (@amy.sobota)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

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12 net votes
14 up votes
2 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplant in Peds sibling matched SCD

There is a need to improve accessibility of Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation (BMSCT) for Sickle Cell Disease patients who are most likely to benefit from this treatment option. 1. Building a culture of trust between and among primary care providers, specialists, patients/families, and other stakeholders 2. Consensus building around BMSCT as an acceptable treatment alternative (as opposed to another research endeavor) ...more »

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

1. It could potentially decrease the prevalence of SCD and significantly decrease the overall morbidity and mortality associated with SCD in children with matched sibling donors.

2. It could increase the awareness of health professionals who have a low awareness of the role of BMSCT in the treatment and cure of SCD (i.e., those in rural areas)

3. It can improve patient/family access to information and communications to facilitate informed discussion and choice for all SCD treatment options

4. It could open the gateway for more therapeutic applications for other genetic diseases

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

1. The science in this has evolved substantially such that BMSCT is a viable therapeutic option with reduced morbidity and mortality in the sibling matched population

2. There is an opportunity to broaden current collaborations with other agencies and the BMSCT community to expand the accessibility of their research forward.

3. Other agencies are emphasizing work in the area of BMSCT particularly for hemoglobinopathies.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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52 net votes
80 up votes
28 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Sickle Cell anemia and Aplastic anemia survivors: Late effects and quality of life issues in Stem Cell Transplant Survivors

Most of the patients suffering from non-malignant hematologic conditions are cured of the original disease with Hematopoitec Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) but still their survival is less compared to age matched general population, and additionally they suffer from unique complications of HSCT culminating into a variety of late physical, psychologic, financial, and social complications (“late effects”). Considerable improvements ...more »

Submitted by (@hashmi.shahrukh)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

One million HSCT mile stone was recently reached and the utilization of HSCTs continues to increase. For many non-malignant hematologic conditions particularly sickle cell anemia and bone marrow failure syndromes, HSCT is the only potentially curative option. Most HSCT survivors are living beyond a year, but can suffer from devastating complications of HSCT which include graft-versus-host-disease, second cancers, diabetes, infertility, congestive heart failure, blindness, and bronchiolitis obliterans, besides many others which lead to increased overall HSCT related disease burden. A lot of efforts are currently being put in cancer survivorship by the ACS, NCI, ASCO and other societies, but very little emphasis is being laid on sickle cell or aplastic anemia survivors. This area of HSCT survivorship becomes more important from health disparities perspective too, since majority of the hemoglobinopathy HSCTs performed in the US are in racial minorities. Comparative effectiveness research (CER) in HSCT survivorship is essential to delineate the overall disease burden this population and understand the risks and outcomes of HSCT late effects. To compare the effectiveness of survivorship programs and research, especially for those survivors who are at risk of health disparities is a top priority of the Institute of Medicine CER 2009 initiative.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Majority of the HSCT survivors of benign hematologic conditions are now living beyond 2 years post-HSCT. Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Clinical Trials Network (CTN) was established in 2001 to conduct large Multi-Institutional clinical trials and is funded by the NHLBI. Since the infrastructure is in place to conduct studies related to all aspects of HSCT, this would be an area to explore first from feasibility perspective since thousands of patients have already been successfully enrolled through the BMT-CTN studies. From NHLBI strategic perspective, this would place CTN (and Emmes Corporation) in an excellent unique position of addressing CER for survivorship issues and health disparities within one study, since the population understudy would mainly be consistent of racial minorities – with the overall goal of improving the long term health, preventing late effects, improving quality of life, and reduce the overall health burden (DALYs and societal costs) of thousands of HSCT survivors in the US and globally.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Shahrukh Hashmi

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71 net votes
89 up votes
18 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Alternative treatments in sickle cell disease

There is a growing desire for the development of alternative treatments and natural therapies for the treatment of sickle cell disease.

Submitted by (@sicklecellwarrior)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Studies have indicated higher levels of fetal hemoglobin, even moderate levels, as being capable of reducing pain episodes. Development of therapies other than hydroxyurea, may be beneficial to individuals with SCD, specifically natural compounds as opposed to chemical based drugs. Additionally, it may be beneficial to the SCD survivors and the medical community to come up with biomedical alternatives to opiates and heavy narcotics used to induce relief and quiet the discomfort of the patient, even at the risk of addiction, resulting from prolonged usage (a life time).

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Sickle Cell Warriors, Inc. community members

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27 net votes
42 up votes
15 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

The treatment of asthma in patients with SCD prevents the development of ACS and VOS.

Does the aggressive treatment of asthma prevent the developement of acute chest syndrome (ACS) and vaso-occlusive syndrome (VOS) in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD)?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Improvement of health for persons with SCD.

Decreased hospitalizations and use of health resources.

Better understanding of the role of bronchospastic/inflammatory airway disease and hypoxemia as causes of acute chest syndrome and VOC.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Feasible but stumbling block could be enrollment of patients since many patients with SCD are not seen by asthma specialists. Study could be a multicenter study with two hospitals in one major city and in one center, patients with SCD receive usual care and at another center they receive aggressive treatment and monitoring of their lung disease.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Scott Schroeder

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13 net votes
27 up votes
14 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Allogeneic transplantation as a safe and universally available therapeutic strategy for treating non-malignant blood diseases

Can new advances in allogeneic blood or marrow transplantation (BMT) make the procedure a safe and universally available therapeutic strategy for treating non-malignant blood and immune disorders such as sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, aplastic anemia, and severe combined immune deficiency?

Submitted by (@rjjones)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The ability of allogeneic blood or marrow transplantation (BMT) to cure diverse non-malignant diseases is well-documented. However, widespread use in diseases such as sickle cell anemia that cause substantial morbidity and shorten life but are not immediately life-threatening, has been limited by transplant-related toxicity and mortality especially in the majority of these patients who lack HLA-matched donors. Several new therapeutic approaches now exist that are promising strategies, separately or in combination, for addressing issues of donor availability, graft rejection, organ toxicity and acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease more effectively. Evaluation and refinement of these therapeutic strategies in both preclinical and Phase I-III clinical trials now offers a real possibility that allogeneic BMT could be applied early in the course of these diseases, allowing normal growth, development, quality of life and lifespan. If successful, allogeneic BMT offers a major advantage over gene therapy approaches even if such approaches become possible in the future; i.e., allogeneic BMT can be done with low-dose, non-toxic conditioning while gene therapy requires high-dose myeloablative therapy which not only can be toxic/fatal to these patients who often have end-organ dysfunction but also universally induces infertility, a major concern of patient groups who usually survive beyond child-bearing years.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

There are now single institution and registry (CIBMTR) data showing that related haploidentical allogeneic BMT using post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCy) produces results similar to those seen with HLA-matched sibling donors. Accordingly, every patient in need of allogeneic BMT now can safely undergo the procedure, including those ethnic groups (such as African-Americans and Hispanics) who are unlikely to find a donor in unrelated registries. Combining PTCy with other approaches for preventing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) can even eliminate GVHD and transplant-related mortality. Although recurrence of malignant diseases remains an issue, especially as GVHD is eliminated, relapse is not a concern for non-malignant diseases after successful allogeneic engraftment. Moreover, the average cost of allogeneic BMT, about $150K, is a cost-savings over the long-term management of many of these diseases. The NHLBI-funded BMT Clinical Trials Network (CTN) has developed the infrastructure to rapidly and efficiently carry out large multi-institutional BMT trials. Over the last 15 year, thousands of patients have been entered on BMT CTN trials. Of note, African-Americans and Hispanics remarkably represent 30% of the accruals on one such trial, CTN1101, studying unrelated umbilical cord and related haploidentical allogeneic BMT. However, funding for the infrastructure for continuing this work remains problematic, since BMT trials generally lack corporate funding.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Rick Jones

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164 net votes
214 up votes
50 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Identifying Epistatic Genes in Sickle Cell Disease

What genes are involved in the modulation of phenotype in sickle cell disease?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The pathophysiology of sickle cell disease results from cellular defects caused directly by the Hb S mutation interacting with the environment and many other gene products—some known, but most yet unidentified–a typical example of epistasis. How normal tissue perfusion is interrupted is complex and why the phenotype of sickle cell disease differs from patient to patient is poorly understood. Answers to this question will provide additional insight into their biological and functional relationships.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Scientific advances make it feasible to identify additional epistatic genes, which will provide additional insight into their biological and functional relationships.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : The Sickle Cell Association of New Jersey

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6 net votes
6 up votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Improving Community-Based Care for Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell treatment centers are located throughout the United States, primarily in urban areas, and play an invaluable role. However, there is a critical need to identify and educate primary care providers who can provide routine and preventive care, but will also know when to consult with/refer to hematologists and other appropriate providers when necessary.

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

For the first time, comprehensive guidelines addressing the management of sickle cell disease were issued in 2014 by the NHLBI. (Previous guidelines were not comprehensive.) The 2014 guidelines, which address issues such as health maintenance and the treatment of acute and chronic complications, are based on a systematic review of available evidence; consensus of an expert panel; and published, vetted guidelines by other organizations when evidence was unavailable or insufficient. These guidelines can provide a solid overview of the knowledge essential for the care of people with sickle cell disease.

 

Identifying primary care providers who can provide routine and preventive care but at the same time are knowledgeable about sickle cell disease, should be a more efficient, less costly method of provide important health services to people with sickle cell disease and should ultimately improve the health and well being of this population, particularly for people who do not live near a sickle cell center.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Addressing this question is very feasible. However, for a variety of reasons, including misconceptions about patients with the condition, it may be challenging to recruit large numbers of primary care providers.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : The Sickle Cell Association of New Jersey

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