Scientists at the Regenerative Medicine Center at Boston Medical Center and the University of Boston School of Medicine have created an iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cell research bank, which paves the way for research into sickle cell anaemia and its treatment. This bank is accessible to scientists all over the world.
The bank includes blood samples of sickle cell anaemia patients of various ethnic origins, covering most of the genetic origins of this disease. The stem cell lines obtained can be used to model the disease in order to improve understanding and test new treatments. Scientists believe that iPS has the ability to revolutionise the way in which we study human development, fatal diseases and, ultimately, patient treatment.
Furthermore, these same scientists have devised gene editing tools to correct the genetic mutation responsible for sickle cell anaemia tested in stem cells. They consider this to be a promising line of treatment.