Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
We do clinical treatment studies, most recently centering around rituximab and the thrombopoietic agents as well as studies also exploring the mechanism of ITP and various markers connected with it. For example, we have looked at the role of different infectious agents (CMV, H Pylori, HIV) in causing ITP, and we have looked at the effects of thrombopoietic agents on the bone marrow and are attempting to relate responses to platelet antibody types. We collaborate with Paul Basciano on studies of a polymorphism in the H1 domain of beta tubulin for which preliminary data suggests a major role in response to several treatments.
This project includes an initial study of rituximab in children with ITP and the role of sports in ITP as well as how often thyroid disease occurs in ITP and what are the co-morbid factors connected with it. Also we are currently using the TEMrotem to evaluate what contributes to bleeding in ITP. We are actively engaged currently in 2 pediatric treatment studies of thrombopoietic agents and planning to participate in a consortium to study children with ITP.
Fetal alloimmune thrombocytopenia
Our other major research area for which we were awarded the King Faisal International Prize in Medicine was the work in fetal alloimmune thrombocytopenia. The primary thrust has been to treat mothers so that we can increase the fetal platelet count and avoid an in utero intracranial hemorrhage. We have multiple publications on this topic over the past 25 years reflecting their participation.