Beta-thalassemia and the advent of new interventions beyond transfusion and iron chelation.
Summary: This article discusses new interventions for the treatment of patients with beta thalassemia (blood disorder).
Conclusion: New interventions for the treatment of patients with beta thalassemia (blood disorder) include ineffective erythropoiesis, correction of globin chain imbalance, and adjustment of iron metabolism.
Beta-thalassaemia, including sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia E, is most common in developing countries in tropical and subtropic regions. Because carriers have migrated there owing to demographic migration, β-thalassaemia can now be detected in areas other than malaria-endemic areas. Every year, an estimated 300 000-500 000 infants, the vast majority of whom are from developing countries, are born with a severe haemoglobin anomaly. Currently, some basic techniques, which include iron chelation therapy, hydroxyurea, blood transfusion, splenectomy and haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, are being used to manage thalassaemia patients. Despite being the backbone of treatment, traditional techniques have several drawbacks and limitations. Ineffective erythropoiesis, correction of globin chain imbalance and adjustment of iron metabolism are some of the innovative treatment methods that have been developed in the care of thalassaemia patients in recent years. Moreover, regulating the expression of B-cell lymphoma/leukaemia 11A and sex-determining region Y-box through the enhanced expression of micro RNAs can also be considered putative targets for managing haemoglobinopathies. This review focuses on the biological basis of β-globin gene production, the pathophysiology of β-thalassaemia and the treatment options that have recently been introduced.