Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most common monogenic autosomal-recessive disorder worldwide. In recent years, much progress has been achieved in the understanding of its physiopathology, which has allowed the development of new drugs and novel therapeutic approaches. As a chronic disease with acute exacerbations, the fields of research are broad and target the necessity of tackling multiple aspects, from curative gene modification to the treatment of acute and chronic pain. On top of these considerations, more than half of the patients with SCD live in countries with limited resources and exhibit a very high discrepancy in life-expectancy compared to Western countries. As an example, up to 3% of children born in Africa suffer from SCD (75% of children born with SCD worldwide) and the vast majority continues to die undiagnosed before the age of 5 years.1 For all these reasons and because of the vast Afro-American population in the U.S. suffering from SCD, ASH made SCD a priority in 2018. As a result, many abstracts and sessions were dedicated to SCD this year and SCD will also be the main topic of this ASH summary on red blood cell disorders.

(BELG J HEMATOL 2019;10(1):57–60)