Hydroxyurea treatment of young children with sickle cell disease no more genotoxic than placebo

Hydroxyurea treatment in young children with sickle cell anemia (SCA) is not associated with significant increases in genotoxicity compared to placebo, Patrick T. McGann, MD, of Texas Children's Hospital Hematology Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, and colleagues report.

Their “Baby Hug” trial enrolled 193 very young children (mean 13.6 months) with SCA, who were then randomized to hydroxyurea or placebo for two years.

A secondary objective of the study was in vivo measurement of acquired genotoxicity of treatment.

Subjects in both the hydroxyurea and placebo groups had significantly increased numbers of total chromosome breaks and similar numbers of chromatid breaks at study exit compared to study entry.  But at study exit, subjects with hydroxyurea exposure had similar numbers of chromosome and chromatid breaks as subjects receiving placebo.