The existing treatments for Thalassaemia are regular blood transfusions that occur every four months and injections of a drug called, Desferal; transplant of suitable marrow or umbilical cord blood from a brother or sister.
After each new blood transfusion, red cells in the new blood are decomposed slowly over the next four months and the iron from that blood will then stay in the body. If that iron is left alone to accumulate continuously, the liver, the heart, and other parts of the body will be damaged as a result of this. If this iron is not prevented from causing damage, most patients will die when they are twenty years old. This is particularly why patients have to remove the extra iron from their body by getting injections of Desferal, five to seven times a week. Most of the infected children are able to have normal lives after receiving these treatments. We hope that patients can enjoy their lives with normal activities such as study, work, marriage, and future offspring. But the treatment is still not perfect and we are continuously searching for better alternatives, especially in the shape of an oral treatment.