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International Outreach, Global Impact
Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland Hosts Global Workshop on Sickle Cell Disease
Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland has been a leader in the field of sickle cell disease (SCD) and thalassemia for decades, and is home to one of the most comprehensive SCD centers in the world. Researchers in CHORI’s Center for Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassemia, such as Elliott Vichinksy, MD, Medical Director of Hematology/Oncology at Children’s Hospital Oakland, Mark Walters, MD, Frans Kuypers, PhD, Claudia Morris, PhD, and others, have long been pioneering innovative clinical and translational research and treatment approaches to these challenging blood diseases.

On October 28th and 29th Children’s researchers brought together an international group of scientists from across the globe in the Second Annual International Advanced Workshop on Sickle Cell Disease at CHORI in order to communicate the most up-to-date treatments, protocols and cures for SCD that are being researched and developed here at Children’s.

“Several scientists and clinicians here, like myself, are devoted to developing new treatments and cures for hemoglobin disorders,” says Dr. Vichinsky.
"It's a wonderful honor to host over forty international hematologist and experts who joined us for aggressive training from our program."

An inherited blood disorder, SCD is fatal without treatment and comes with a host of complications from pneumonia to stroke. While there are about 100 thousand patients with SCD in the United States, the global disease burden from SCD is staggering.

"Internationally, hundreds of thousands of babies are born each year with sickle cell disease," said Dr. Vichinsky.
While advances in SCD treatment over the last two decades have significantly improved both quality of life and life expectancy in the United States, disease severity and availability of cutting-edge treatments can be quite varied across the globe. Hosting the Second Annual Advanced Workshop on Sickle Cell Disease is part of CHORI's larger effort to create the collaborative networks necessary to help spread the wealth of knowledge and technological advances related to SCD that are currently available in the United States but often lacking in other regions.

"The Second Annual International Advanced Workshop on Sickle Cell Disease reflects the worldwide leadership role of the hematology division, in particular their work in sickle cell disease and thalassemia, in selecting standards of care for treatments and patients," says Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland CEO Bert Lubin, MD.

"It is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate all the advances that have occurred in the comprehensive care, prevention, and in some cases, cure, of sickle cell disease."

Providing cutting-edge presentations on the practical management of sickle cell disease (SCD) and related therapies, the Advanced Workshop on Sickle Cell Disease provided a unique forum for hematologists from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and beyond, to discuss the current state of treatment in the United States and abroad, and to identify potential opportunities for collaboration.

"Through this workshop, we are able to develop new relationships and strengthen existing relationships between Children's and countries with sickle cell disease," says Dr. Vichinsky. Collaborative meetings like this conference enable us to improve care worldwide."

The workshop included dozens of sessions on a wide variety of the evidence-based research conducted at CHORI, from new therapeutic options for treating SCD and the latest in transfusion therapies and comprehensive care, to dealing with brain injury and respiratory issues in SCD.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011 8:19 AM

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