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Lucarelli G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Isgro A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Sodani P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Marziali M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | And 13 more authors.
Bone Marrow Transplantation | Year: 2014

Sickle cell anemia (SCA) remains associated with high risks of morbidity and early death. Allogeneic hematopoietic SCT (HSCT) is the only curative treatment for SCA. We report our experience with transplantation in a group of patients with the non-Black African variant and the Black African variant of SCA. This study included 40 consecutive SCA patients (13 patients with the non-Black African variant and 27 with the Black African variant) who underwent BM transplantation from HLA-identical sibling donors between June 2004 and May 2013, following a myeloablative-conditioning regimen. All patients obtained sustained engraftment. One patient (non-Black African variant) became a stable mixed chimera with 25% donor cells more than 6 years after transplantation. The probabilities of survival, SCA-free survival and TRM at 5 years after transplant were 91%, 91% and 9%, respectively. All surviving patients remained free of any SCA-related events after transplantation. Our results confirm that it is possible to offer a greater than 90% chance of cure to children with SCA. HSCT should be considered the standard of care for who have an HLA-identical donor, before complications result from the sickling of RBC. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Amato A.,Centro Studi Microcitemie | Cappabianca M.P.,Centro Studi Microcitemie | Colosimo A.,University of Teramo | Perri M.,Centro Studi Microcitemie | And 4 more authors.
Advances in Hematology | Year: 2010

The aim of this study was to describe the changing pattern of mutational spectrum of β-thalassemia ( β-thal) in the Lazio region (Central Italy), as consequence of recent demographic variations. From 1994 until present, 256 immigrant subjects with hemoglobin disorders (including 191 heterozygotes and 65 homozygotes or compound heterozygotes) coming from 44 different foreign countries, have been molecularly characterized. 14 β-globin gene mutations were identified and their frequencies reflect different ethnic origins: 8 of these mutations account for 76.97 of all molecular defects, while 6 of them are much rare, representing less than 2 of the total. These data differ, both in type and percentage, from the mutational spectrum detected in the native population in 1995. Since a few defects are prevalent in each country, a proper strategy for the identification of mutations in immigrant individuals relies on the prior knowledge of their frequency in native ethnic group. Copyright © 2010 Antonio Amato et al.

Colosimo A.,University of Teramo | Gatta V.,University of Chieti Pescara | Guida V.,Mendel Laboratory | Leodori E.,University of Teramo | And 6 more authors.
Blood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases | Year: 2011

α-thalassemia belongs to those inherited diseases in which large genomic deletions/duplications represent a significant proportion of causative mutations. Until recently, large α-globin gene cluster rearrangements have been mainly detected by gap-PCR and Southern blotting, methods that have significant drawbacks. We tested the recently developed multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) assay for deletional screening of the α-globin gene cluster in a cohort of 25 individuals suspected of having α-globin alteration(s), in which no or doubtful mutations had been found using conventional methods. In 13 out of 18 α-thalassemia carriers and in all 5 patients with HbH we found the causative α-globin defects. In 2 thalassemia intermedia patients, carriers of heterozygous α-globin mutations, the co-inheritance of homozygous α-genes triplication was detected. MLPA results were subsequently confirmed by real-time PCR. This study shows that MLPA can effectively identify different and unknown types of α-globin gene rearrangements, to allow characterizing previously unsolved α-thalassemia genotypes. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Roselli E.A.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Mezzadra R.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Frittoli M.C.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Maruggi G.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | And 15 more authors.
EMBO Molecular Medicine | Year: 2010

β-Thalassemia is a common monogenic disorder due to mutations in the β-globin gene and gene therapy, based on autologous transplantation of genetically corrected haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), holds the promise to treat patients lacking a compatible bone marrow (BM) donor. We recently showed correction of murine β-thalassemia by gene transfer in HSCs with the GLOBE lentiviral vector (LV), expressing a transcriptionally regulated human β-globin gene. Here,we report successful correction of thalassemia major in human cells, by studying a large cohort of pediatric patients of diverse ethnic origin, carriers of different mutations and all candidates toBMtransplantation. Extensive characterization of BM-derived CD34+ cells before and following gene transfer shows the achievement of high frequency of transduction, restoration of haemoglobin A synthesis, rescue from apoptosis and correction of ineffective erythropoiesis. The procedure does not significantly affect the differentiating potential and the relative proportion of haematopoietic progenitors. Analysis of vector integrations shows preferential targeting of transcriptionally active regions, without bias for cancer-related genes. Overall, these results provide a solid rationale for a future clinical translation. © 2010 EMBO Molecular Medicine.

Amato A.,Centro Studi Microcitemie | Cappabianca M.P.,Centro Studi Microcitemie | Perri M.,Centro Studi Microcitemie | Zaghis I.,Centro Studi Microcitemie | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Laboratory Hematology | Year: 2014

Fetal hemoglobin may be slightly or significantly elevated in post-natal life due to a number of causes. We report two novel mutations found on the promoter of the Aγ gene and summarize all common and rare determinants associated with hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin (HPFH) described thus far. Hematological and molecular analysis of the Aγ globin gene in two cases of HPFH. Comparison of the novel cases with all those described in the literature. We have found two novel mutations in three Italian patients with HbF values between 5.9% and 6.5% without an elevated HbA2 and with normal hemoglobin parameters. In two probands (mother and son), a -197 C>T transition was observed, while in a single individual, a -113 A>G transition was present on the distal CCAAT box of the Aγ gene. As no other abnormalities were present in both γ-gene promoters and the changes are located on regulatory sequences, we may conclude that these mutations are responsible for the HPFH phenotype shown by the carriers. The laboratory should be able to discriminate between elevated HbF due to artifacts or to serious causes including bone marrow malignancies, aplastic anemia, and β-thalassemia major or recessive traits such as β-thalassemia minor, δβ-thalassemia, or nonpathological conditions induced by mutations or polymorphisms of the γ-gene promoters that may even be beneficial when present in patients with thalassemia major or sickle cell disease and, in particular, when these patients are treated with hydroxyurea. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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