Sickle cell anaemia is still responsible for severe crippling and death in young patients living in developing countries. Apart from prophylaxis and treatment of infections, no active treatment can be safely proposed in such areas of the world. Therefore a bone marrow transplantation was performed in 12 patients staying in Belgium and planning to return to Africa. Twelve patients, aged between 11 months and 23 years (median 4 years), underwent a HLA identical bone marrow transplantation. The conditioning regimen included oral busulphan for four consecutive days (4 mg/kg) followed by four days of intravenous cyclophosphamide (50 mg/kg). In 10 patients the engraftment was rapid and sustained. A further patient suffered transient red cell hypoplasia and another underwent a second bone marrow transplantation from the same donor at day 62 because of graft rejection. All patients are alive and well with a follow up ranging from 9-51 months (median 27 months). In all cases a complete cessation of vaso-occlusive episodes and haemolysis was observed as was a change in the haemoglobin pattern in accordance with the donor's electrophoretic pattern.
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