|| DukeMedNews || Bone Marrow Transplants for SCID

This week on Duke MedMinute: Dr. Rebecca Buckley, chief of Duke’s division of pediatric allergy and immunology, talks about using bone marrow transplantation to cure severe combined immune deficiency or SCID.

Tomorrow on the Newsline: Breaking news about existing drugs that can treat a type of fungus that attacks AIDS patients

Thursday on the Newsline: News from the Duke Primate Center

Suggested lead: Children with a disorder known as “bubble boy” disease are born without an immune system, and until recently, faced an early death from common infections. Now, researchers at Duke are using bone marrow transplants to help these tiny patients. Melinda Stubbee reports.

In Cut 1, Buckley says that babies born with the disorder can be given a healthy immune system if they receive a bone marrow transplant within three months of birth. They also have learned that these children need not have a perfectly matched donor, but can use a parent’s “half-matched” marrow. Furthermore, the babies do not need toxic pre-transplant chemotherapy, as is often thought and currently practiced.

Cut 1…survival rate…:11
(Preview this in a AIFF or WAV file in 8 bit mono. For the full interview in high quality ISDN sound, call the newsline.)

Buckley says early diagnosis of SCID is rare because doctors don’t routinely perform a test in newborns to count white blood cells. Such a blood test could pick up children with SCID as well as those with other serious immune deficiencies that would not be apparent until the child developed an infection. In Cut 2, Buckley says a simple blood test could allow them to treat, and most likely cure, SCID in a child for as little as 25-thousand dollars.

Cut 2…of birth…:18
(Preview this in a AIFF or WAV file in 8 bit mono. For the full interview in high quality ISDN sound, call the newsline.)