Today’s Solutions: November 30, 2022

It’s a good thing that the field of cancer research has so many minds hard at work, inventing ingenious methods of diagnosis, prevention, and treatment, such as non-invasive MINIMA therapy using MRI scanners, or mRNA vaccines that can carry out targeted cancer therapy.

Researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, have invented a new type of diagnosis tool which can rapidly predict blood cancer relapses from a 10-second video of the patients’ white blood cells.

How can the video predict relapse?

White blood cells are immune cells that circulate in our blood to fight off foreign invaders. Blood cancer, also known as leukemia, affects these cells and blood-forming tissues, including bone marrow and the lymphatic system. When this occurs, an excessive amount of white blood cells can build up that don’t function properly, leading to an increased risk of death from infections and clogged blood vessels.

Through studying immune cells motion, the team was able to predict 56 bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients who were likely to relapse. If their white blood cells adhered to their vein walls and rolled along these at a higher rate than average, they were three times more likely to relapse.

A more accurate model

This model was found to be much more accurate than established methods. Plus it’s non-invasive, easy to carry out, and returns results quickly.

“Our study raises the prospect of a new application of so-called diagnostic optical biopsy,” said Eric Tkaczy, who led the study. “With a special confocal microscope brought to stem cell and bone marrow transplant patients for non-invasive inspection of their skin right at the bedside.”

Tkaczy continued: “While this is a pilot study of just over 50 patients, it would appear to point strongly to potential clinical application for improved patient evaluation and management. Patients found to be at high risk for relapse could, for example, be more readily referred to clinical trials.”

Source study: JAMA DermatologyAssociation of Leukocyte Adhesion and Rolling in Skin With Patient Outcomes After Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Using Noninvasive Reflectance Confocal Videomicroscopy

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