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CME: Managing beta-thalassemia and related complications in a real-life clinical setting

Activity Description / Statement of Need:

In this online, self-learning activity:

Thalassemias are a group of recessively inherited blood disorders characterized by little or no hemoglobin production and chronic anemia of varying severity. Beta-thalassemia (BT) is most commonly found in people of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Asian, and North African descent. Worldwide, 1.5% of people are BT carriers, with about 40,000 infants born with BT annually. About half of patients with BT are transfusion-dependent, which may significantly impact patient quality of life. BT is caused by a point mutation in the gene encoding hemoglobin subunit beta (HBB), resulting in either lower beta-globin production (termed beta-plus [B+]) or the prevention of all beta-globin production (termed beta-zero [B0]). Disease severity depends on the extent of hemoglobin β and γ chain imbalance.

Target Audience:

The following HCPs: hematologists; physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists who practice in hematology; and any other healthcare professionals with an interest in or who may clinically encounter patients with beta-thalassemia .

Commercial Support Disclosure: This program is supported by educational grants from Agios Pharmaceuticals and from Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

This activity is free of charge.

Release Date: April 09, 2023 -- Expiration Date: April 09, 2025

Faculty: Sherif Badawy, MD, MBBCh, MS


Introduction, faculty disclosures

Overview of BT

  • Epidemiology and burden of BT for patients and caregivers
  • Pathophysiology of BT, including new and emerging therapeutic targets
  • BT classification

o  Subtype (major, intermedia, minor)
o  Severity
o  Transfusion dependence

  • Techniques to accurately diagnose BT and exclude other potential diagnoses
  • Monitoring hepatic and myocardial iron overload using magnetic resonance imaging techniques

Management of BT 

  • Non-transfusion-dependent BT
      • Standard-of-care options to prevent iron overload and accumulation of iron overload-related complications over time
      • Iron overload therapy with iron chelators, including sequencing, combination, and increased dosing frequency
      • Indications for transfusion
      • Novel investigational treatment options
        • Pyruvate kinase activation
  • Transfusion-dependent BT
    • Standard-of-care options to safely reduce transfusion burden
    • Preventing iron overload using iron chelation therapy
    • Gene therapy and gene editing techniques combined with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
      • Implementation
      • Considerations
      • Emerging efficacy and safety data
    • Emerging small-molecule inhibitors
  • Management of patients with BT over their lifetimes
  • Supportive care: preventing complications
  • Best practices: putting it all together
  • Patient case(s)

Summary, conclusions, and best practice recap

Learning Objectives

By the end of the session the participant will be able to:

  • Review the genetics and pathophysiology of BT, with an emphasis on current and novel therapeutic targets.
  • Evaluate guideline-recommended procedures useful in the differential diagnose of BT and magnetic resonance imaging techniques used to measure hepatic and myocardial iron overload.
  • Review standard-of-care treatment options for BT, and describe the unmet needs in this patient population, including gaps between real-life care in the clinical setting compared with guideline recommendations.
  • Describe the latest safety and efficacy data supporting the use of novel therapeutic treatment strategies, and select treatment options on the basis of disease subtype and severity and patient characteristics.


ACCME Activity #202436906

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through ScientiaCME. ScientiaCME is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation: ScientiaCME designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ toward the AMA Physician's Recognition Award. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


ABIM MOC Recognition Statement: Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 1.0 MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

ABIM MOC Credit Type: Medical Knowledge

Physicians: For maintenance of certification (MOC) points, you must enter your board certification ID # and birth date correctly.  It is the learner's responsibility to provide this information completely and accurately at the completion of the activity. Without providing it, the learner will NOT receive MOC points for this activity. By providing this data, you acknowledge that it will be shared with ACCME and the applicable certifying board. Please note: Not all activities on this site provide MOC points. If this activity does not specify that it provides MOC points in this section, then it does NOT provide MOC points. This activity provides MOC points only for ABIM.


ScientiaCME is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This activity is approved for 1.0 contact hours (0.1 CEUs) of continuing pharmacy education credit. Proof of participation will be posted to your NABP CPE profile within 4 to 6 weeks to participants who have successfully completed the post-test. Participants must participate in the entire presentation and complete the course evaluation to receive continuing pharmacy education credit. ACPE #0574-0000-23-011-H01-P. This is an Knowledge (K)-type activity. 

PharmacistsYou must enter your NABP # and birth date correctly so that proof of participation can be posted to your NABP CPE profile. It is the learner's responsibility to provide this information completely and accurately at the completion of the activity. Without providing it, the learner will NOT receive CPE credit for this activity.

Nurse Practitioners (NPs): The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME. ScientiaCME will provide NPs who successfully complete each activity with a certificate of participation indicating that the activity was designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.

Physician Assistants: The American Academy of Physician Assistants accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

Faculty Disclosure and Resolution of COI

As a provider of continuing medical education, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its educational activities. In accordance with this policy, faculty and educational planners must disclose any significant relationships with commercial interests whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, and any relationships with the commercial supporter of the activity. The intent of this disclosure is to provide the intended audience with information on which they can make their own judgments. Additionally, in the event a conflict of interest (COI) does exist, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure that the COI is resolved in order to ensure the integrity of the CME activity. For this CME activity, any COI has been resolved through content review by ScientiaCME.

Disclosure of Faculty: Sherif M. Badawy, MD, MBBCh, MS, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has no relevant financial disclosures.


Disclosures of Educational Planners: Charles Turck, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP, President of ScientiaCME, has no relevant financial disclosures.

Faculty WILL NOT discuss off-label uses.

All relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

ScientiaCME adheres to the ACCME’s Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CE activity, including faculty, planners, reviewers or others are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with ineligible entities (commercial interests). All relevant conflicts of interest have been mitigated prior to the commencement of the activity.

Commercial Support Disclosure: This program is supported by an educational grant from Agios Pharmaceuticals and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.


  • Read the learning objectives above
  • Take the Pre-Test (optional). Completion of the pre-test will help us evaluate the knowledge gained by participating in this CME activity.
  • View the online activity. You may view this is in more than one session, and may pause or repeat any portion of the presentation if you need to.
  • Minimum participation threshold: Take the post-test. A score of 70% or higher is required to pass and proceed to the activity evaluation.
  • Complete the activity evaluation and CME registration. A CE certificate will be emailed to you immediately.

Cultural/Linguistic Competence & Health Disparities

System Requirements

Windows 7 or above
Internet Explorer 8
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Mac OS 10.2.8
Safari or Chrome or Firefox
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Internet Explorer is not supported on the Macintosh

*Required to view Printable PDF Version

Perform Pre-Test (optional)

Please take a few minutes to participate in the optional pre-test. It will help us measure the knowledge gained by participating in this activity.

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