Many people have donated blood in their lifetime. This blood is not only used for transfusions, but to provide blood components to treat a number of diseases and to conduct research geared to develop new diagnostic and treatment strategies. To obtain specific blood components, the technique of apheresis is used. This procedure is the means to separate blood into its various components so that the desired one is removed. Then, the rest of the components are placed back into the donor’s circulation.
Scientists examine the effect of the tumor microenvironment on cancer fate in acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), a disease prevalent in young children. They find that the tumor-adjacent dendritic cells provide essential cues for cancer growth.
For the past fifty years, the incidence of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), a cancer of immature white blood cells, has been rising steadily. Currently, about 6,500 new cases occur annually in the US. The onset of the wretched disease is most common in early childhood, between ages 2 and 5, but can also happen later in life. Luckily, modern chemotherapy and stem cell approaches have resulted in a substantial increase in the 5-year survival rate for children affected by the disease, to over 75%. However, outlook remains poor for those that do not respond well to these therapies. As is the case for the disease’s chronic counterpart, CLL, more treatment options are sorely needed (as we recently reported).
He may have loved to eat kiwifruit. He may have been indifferent towards the fuzzy green egg-shaped things. He may not have liked them at all. But, whatever his attitude towards the innocent-looking berries was, he was not allergic to them. That is, until, at age 26, he needed a bone marrow transplant to battle acute lymphocytic leukemia. His sister turned out to be a matching donor, and the transplantation was a success. It kept the leukemia in check.
Researchers use skin cells from pediatric patients and program them into stem cells to investigate molecular mechanisms for rare form of childhood leukemia
Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) is diagnosed in children whose average age at diagnosis is two. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation can cure some patients but not all. On the other end, minimal treatment -- or none at all -- can also result in remission. How does one decide how to treat JMML patients?