ASH Publishes New Guidance for Stem Cell Transplantation for Sickle Cell Disease

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) has published new clinical practice guidelines for stem cell transplantation in patients with sickle cell disease.1

The guideline panel published 8 clinical practice recommendations for patients, clinicians, policy makers, and researchers. The 2 recommendations for clinicians include:

  • ASH strongly recommends that most patients should follow the recommended course of action. It is not likely that formal decision aids will be needed to help patients make decisions consistent with their values and preferences.
  • ASH conditionally recommends that different choices will be appropriate for individual patients. You must help each patient arrive at a management decision consistent with their values and preferences. Decision aids may be useful in helping individuals make decisions consistent with their individual risks, values, and preferences.


“We have known for decades that transplantation is indeed curative for sickle cell disease, but we have never before had a set of comprehensive recommendations about how the therapy fits into the treatment options for this disease,” said John Tisdale, MD, guideline co-chair and Chief of the Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics Branch at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in a press release.2 “It is important that discussions about transplantation begin at a young age for all individuals with sickle cell disease as one possible treatment option available over their lifetime. These guidelines inform the continued discussions and risk-benefit analyses between patients and providers.”

—Amanda Balbi


1. Kanter J, Liem RI, Bernaudin F, et al. American Society of Hematology 2021 guidelines for sickle cell disease: stem cell transplantation. Blood Adv. 2021;5(18):3668-3689.

2. ASH Releases New Clinical Practice Guidelines on Stem Cell Transplantation in Sickle Cell Disease. News Release. American Society of Hematology; September 28, 2021. Accessed December 2, 2021.