EU red blood cell research project to advance rare anaemia patient care

EU red blood cell research project to advance rare anaemia patient care
Credit: Shutterstock

Anaemia is a condition in which your blood has a lower than normal number of red blood cells. It affects 1.6 billion people worldwide, with approximately 10 percent of these individuals suffering from a rare form of the disease. Concretely, the lack of haemoglobin in the blood slows down the delivery of oxygen from the respiratory organs to the rest of the body, resulting in less energy to power the functions of the patient's organism. In such scenarios, various symptoms occur including fatigue, weakness and difficulty concentrating. If the anaemia becomes more severe - particularly in rare anaemias - it can become life threatening.

The root causes of the approximately 90 different types of red blood cell diseases have not yet been adequately investigated. The link between the molecular causes and clinical symptoms in red blood cell diseases like and groups of inherited - thalassemia - is still poorly understood and appropriate treatments are often ineffective.

As a consequence, there is a high demand for new tools to improve diagnosis and monitor red blood cell disease progression. This is where COMMITMENT - a newly launched EU funded research project - comes into play. Over the next five years, the project is expected to develop reliable imaging technologies for therapy and personalised medication in rare anaemia treatments.

The innovative approach of the international research group, led by Dr Lars Kaestner, Head of the Centre for Molecular Imaging and Screening at Saarland University, Germany, is based on the combination of specific imaging technologies (molecular and functional imaging).

"The individual technologies, and to a larger extent the unique fusion of technologies, will allow for the identification and probing of the molecular players that underlie rare anaemia. In doing so, this innovative technology will provide a novel diagnostic tool leading to a better understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of rare anaemia. This will enable us to develop new (personalised) treatments for this group of established, emerging, and as yet undiscovered red blood cell disorders," explains Dr Kaestner.

More information: www.rare-anaemia.eu/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Enzyme 'Lyn' linked to anaemia

Aug 21, 2013

New research by a team including experts from the UWA-affiliated Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR) has proved a link between an enzyme known as "Lyn" and the blood disorder anaemia.

Recommended for you

Growing a blood vessel in a week

10 hours ago

The technology for creating new tissues from stem cells has taken a giant leap forward. Three tablespoons of blood are all that is needed to grow a brand new blood vessel in just seven days. This is shown ...

Testing time for stem cells

13 hours ago

DefiniGEN is one of the first commercial opportunities to arise from Cambridge's expertise in stem cell research. Here, we look at some of the fundamental research that enables it to supply liver and pancreatic ...

Team finds key signaling pathway in cause of preeclampsia

Oct 23, 2014

A team of researchers led by a Wayne State University School of Medicine associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology has published findings that provide novel insight into the cause of preeclampsia, the leading cause ...

Rapid test to diagnose severe sepsis

Oct 23, 2014

A new test, developed by University of British Columbia researchers, could help physicians predict within an hour if a patient will develop severe sepsis so they can begin treatment immediately.

User comments