Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New hope for young leukemia patients?

Researchers have identified a potential marker for leukemic relapse

The development of simple tests to predict a leukemic relapse in young patients is a step closer thanks to researchers from the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center and the University of Montreal. Approximately 20 percent of young leukemia patients who are treated with stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood will experience leukemic relapse. The researchers' findings, published recently in Blood, demonstrate that the blame falls partially on a subset of white blood cells called "T cells." Until now, this process had been poorly understood.

"We have shown that a particular marker on the T-cells, PD-1, was found significantly more frequently in those young patients in whom relapses were about to occur," says lead author, Dr. Hugo Soudeyns, an investigator at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center, affiliated with Université de Montreal. "PD-1 is also an indicator of 'T cell exhaustion', a process whereby T cells lose their capacity to multiply and are less effective at fighting viruses and cancer cells."

Window of vulnerability

Dr. Soudeyns and his colleagues analyzed blood samples from young children who received an umbilical cord blood transplant for the treatment of blood disorders, including leukemia. They were particularly interested in studying the three to six month time period post-transplantation, when the children were most susceptible to both relapse and infection. During this time, expression of the PD-1 marker peaked, suggesting that many of these T cells were at the end of their life cycle and thus less effective.

"Our findings suggest that measurement of exhaustion markers such as PD-1 could serve as an early predictor of leukemic relapse – a very serious complication," says Dr. Soudeyns. "Our next step is to repeat these experiments in larger groups of patients."

The input of the ELISpot reader

Thanks to the financial support of the Fondation Centre de cancérologie Charles-Bruneau, Dr Soudeyns' team was able to count on a new ELISpot reader, which analyzes the reaction of cells to stimulus. This reader played an important part in the study of blood samples selected for this test. The Fondation is proud of its positive contribution to this research and congratulates Dr Soudeyns for this remarquable scientific breakthrough.

Leukemia and stem cell transplants

Leukemia is a type of blood cancer. Children with leukemia are frequently treated with chemotherapy and radiation to eradicate the cancer cells, but this treatment also leads to the destruction of both their red and white blood cells. To replenish these cells, leukemic children often undergo a bone marrow transplant. Another similar procedure involves transplantation of umbilical cord blood instead of bone marrow.

Study Details

The study, led by Dr. Hugo Soudeyns, an investigator in the Viral and Immune Disorders and Cancers research axis at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center and the Departments of Microbiology & Immunology and Pediatrics at Université de Montréal, was published online on August 2, 2011 in the scientific journal Blood. Dr. Natacha Merindol is first author, followed by Dr. Martin A. Champagne and Dr. Michel Duval. The study was published in the October 26, 2011 issue of Blood and was highlighted in an editorial that underscored the originality of the work.

The study was funded by le Fonds de recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ), Héma-Québec, la Fondation Centre de cancérologie Charles-Bruneau, the Cole Foundation, and la Fondation de l'Hôpital Sainte-Justine.

William Raillant-Clark | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>