Bone marrow transplantation (Hemopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, HSCT)
This is the only cure for thalassemia. So far, the majority of HSCT have been performed from HLA identical siblings and the results are good. HSCT generally costs around 10-15 lakh but if we consider the cost of lifelong treatment of thalassemia, HSCT is cost effective. Infact, this modality of treatment should be offered to all thalassemia major cases where a fully HLA matched donor is available. Results of the use of stem cells from other sources are inconsistent.
Gene therapy is still experimental. When available, it will completely change the outlook of thalassemia.
Both, the life expectancy and the quality of life of those affected by thalassemia, have improved dramatically because of the continuing advancements made in the last three decades.
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