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Sickle Cell Trials Target Pain

Edna Perez’s perspective on sickle cell anemia is unusual. She’s Hispanic, not black; at 53, she has lived longer than most with the disease; and she’s also a registered nurse, so she is both caregiver and patient.

Perez is a participant in one of two clinical trials under way at the University of South Florida Health Clinics, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

About 100,000 Americans have sickle cell, a genetic disease that creates abnormal red blood cells.  The drug trials, being conducted by USF Health at Tampa General Hospital, are looking at reducing or eliminating bouts of pain that sometimes lasts several weeks, the Times reports. Perez’s trial involves a drug that also aims to reduce risk of heart attack, stroke and organ failure.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.