High-sensitivity bone marrow aspiration technology enhances leukemia cell detection

October 6, 2009,

Scientists have created a viable technology to improve the detection of leukemia cells in bone marrow.

Superconducting Device (SQUID) enhanced the ability to rapidly quantify the amount of nanoparticle bound tumor in a sample at least 10 fold, and increased sensitivity of minimal residual disease measurements. Results of this proof-of-concept study are published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

"This promises to significantly enhance the detection for residual disease in leukemia and other cancers," said lead scientist Richard S. Larson, M.D., Ph.D., vice president for translation research at the University of New Mexico Health Science Center. "Coupling nanotechnology can be employed in common techniques to enhance its utility."

These findings are a result of a collaborative research effort between Senior Scientific, LLC, and the University of New Mexico. The study was funded by a small business innovation grant awarded by the National Cancer Institute.

Previous studies have indicated that the magnetic needle can collect approximately 80 percent of in a bone marrow sample in a matter of minutes, according to Edward R. Flynn, Ph.D., president and CEO of Senior Scientific, LLC.

The scientists developed this magnetic marrow biopsy needle in an effort to target tumor cells with and then preferentially extract the with a magnetic needle. They used anti-CD34 antibody loaded magnetic nanoparticles to detect CD34+ cells as an indicator of leukemia. To quantify the cells recovered, they coupled this nanoparticle-mediated fishing for leukemic cells with SQUID.

SQUID enhanced the sensitivity of measuring minimal residual disease over standard pathology methods for patients undergoing chemotherapy.

"This result will determine more precisely the effect of the chemotherapy and will help to ascertain proper dosage or termination of treatment for patients," said Flynn.

Furthermore, Larson said that SQUID will work well with current technologies to improve the detection of leukemia cells in the . Chi Van Dang, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, cell biology, oncology and pathology, and vice dean for research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, believes this approach is quite different from the current standard. He suggested that the sensitivity compared to polymerase chain reaction still needs to be determined.

"In the case of leukemias without clear genetic markers, the magnetic needle could be useful," said Dang, who was not associated with this study, but is an editorial board member for Cancer Research. "It is possible that this technology could be used to detect cancer stem cells in general, if the proper antibodies with appropriate specificity are available."

Senior Scientific, LLC is currently participating in follow-up studies to increase the efficiency of the magnetic needle further through advanced magnet configurations and theoretical calculations.

Source: American Association for Cancer Research (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

More than 2,500 cancer cases a week could be avoided

March 23, 2018
More than 135,500 cases of cancer a year in the UK could be prevented through lifestyle changes, according to new figures from a Cancer Research UK landmark study published today.

Metastatic lymph nodes can be the source of distant metastases in mouse models of cancer

March 22, 2018
A study by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators finds that, in mouse models, cancer cells from metastatic lymph nodes can escape into the circulation by invading nodal blood vessels, leading to the development ...

Could a pap test spot more than just cervical cancer?

March 22, 2018
Pap tests have helped drive down rates of cervical cancer, and a new study suggests they also could be used to detect other gynecologic cancers early.

Researchers identify compound to prevent breast cancer cells from activating in brain

March 22, 2018
Researchers at Houston Methodist used computer modeling to find an existing investigational drug compound for leukemia patients to treat triple negative breast cancer once it spreads to the brain.

Researchers examine role of fluid flow in ovarian cancer progression

March 22, 2018
New research from Virginia Tech is moving physicians closer to pinpointing a predictor of ovarian cancer, which could lead to earlier diagnosis of what is know as the "silent killer."

Gene-based test for urine detects, monitors bladder cancer

March 22, 2018
Researchers at The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed a test for urine, gathered during a routine procedure, to detect DNA mutations identified with urothelial cancers.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.