Thalassemia is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder of the blood that is prevalent among Asians. In this condition, the hemoglobin, or the part of the blood that is responsible for carrying oxygen, is defective. Although some forms may cause stillbirth deliveries, children born with the less severe forms may be born normal but develop anemia as early as a year after. Patients may need regular blood transfusions, iron chelation, splenectomy (surgical removal of the spleen), and bone marrow transplantation.
The Philippine Thalassemia Research Study Group is composed of hematologists and geneticists. Its researches focus on the screening of individuals using laboratory equipments. The group also aims to determine the frequencies of the different thalassemia genes, their molecular genetic nature, disease burdens, clinical manifestation and management. It is committed to achieving health promotion and disease prevention.