Research in Sickle Cell
Children’s Mercy physicians and researchers are actively seeking new treatments for sickle cell disease. We have several current research studies led by Gerald Woods, MD, Division Director of Hematology/Oncology/BMT and Director of the Sickle Cell Program at Children’s Mercy. Dr. Woods has more than thirty years of experience in sickle cell research.
One study is investigating a new medication called Voxelotor that helps hemoglobin, the molecules inside red blood cells, to hold onto more oxygen as the red blood cells travel through the body, keeping red blood cells in their normal shape and helping to stop sickling.
Another study is evaluating the effectiveness of a medication known as GMI-1070 to treat a painful episode in hospitalized children with sickle cell disease. The goal is to decrease the length of hospital stays for these children.
Recently, the FDA approved the use of L-glutamine oral powder to reduce complications of sickle cell disease. Children’s Mercy was one of the participating centers in this study, with Dr. Woods as Principal Investigator.
Connections to the Sickle Cell Community
The following booklets were developed by Children’s Mercy physicians and nurses and published with funding from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
These community-based organizations provide many avenues of support for our families:
The Uriel E. Owens Sickle Cell Disease Association of the Midwest is a Kansas City based group which seeks to educate the community and provide many forms of social support to families of children with sickle cell disease. They offer a Sickle Cell Support Group which meets every 4th Saturday of the month at noon in University Health. Annually, during Sickle Cell Awareness Month in September, they sponsor a fundraiser walk.
Turning Point – A Community Resource of the University of Kansas Health System is an organization that hosts Camp Courage for children with sickle cell disease. Every summer in July, more than 40 children ages 6 – 14 years old spend 5 days participating in fun indoor and outdoor recreational and educational activities at Camp Courage.