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 have occurred in conditioning regimens, provision of alternative donors, and supportive care requirements during HSCT leading to better survival, but the field of HSCT survivorship is still in infancy. Can we provide better long term care to these patients so that we can lessen their mortality and morbidity?

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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Idea No. 560