Blood disorders can affect any of the three main components of blood:

  • Red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body’s tissues
  • White blood cells, which fight infections
  • Platelets, which help blood to clot

Blood disorders can also affect the liquid portion of blood, called plasma.

Treatments and prognosis for blood diseases vary, depending on the blood condition and its severity. For decades, transplantation of haematopoietic stem cells–either unmodified, or genetically modified to correct genetic disorders–has been used to treat disorders of the blood and immune systems. The present challenge is to reduce the risk of such transplants and increase the number of patients who can safely access this treatment. In developing countries, such ‘one-shot’ treatments are highly desirable because chronic treatments are difficult to sustain. To make these therapies more accessible and effective it will be important to improve clinical protocols and gene-delivery vectors, and to gain a deeper understanding of stem cells.

Stem cells are actively and successfully used to treat blood diseases.

Anemia

Anemia happens when the number of healthy red blood cells in your body is too low. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all of the body’s tissues, so a low red blood cell count indicates that the amount of oxygen in your blood is lower than it should be…

Lower limb ischemia

Critical limb ischemia (CLI), the most severe form of peripheral artery disease, is characterized by pain at rest and non-healing ulcers in the lower extremities. For patients with CLI, where the extent of atherosclerotic artery occlusion is too severe for surgical bypass or percutaneous interventions, limb amputation remains the only treatment option.