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 Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

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: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

The nanostructured cloak of invisibility

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>