Genetic analysis using microarray
technology may better define prognosis and treatment in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia, suggests new study.
(AML) is a type of blood
; it is the most common form of acute leukemia in adults. AML
starts in the bone marrow, where new blood cells are produced. In people with
AML or other forms of acute leukemia, bone marrow cells fail to mature.
Immature cells called blasts build up instead. Without timely treatment, the
condition is fatal. With too many circulating blast cells in the body, the
patient experiences symptoms such as fatigue, fever, loss of appetite or
weight, and night sweats.
abnormalities, inherited and/ or induced by exposure to carcinogens
are believed to cause
blood cancer. Researchers led by Dr. Ravindra Kolhe, molecular pathologist at
the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University opine that the
current technology used in diagnosis can't identify "specifically what's
wrong." Proper identification of the causative genes is required for a more
half the patients with AML are said to have normal chromosomes
but this often doesn't clinically correlate well. "(Cytogenetically normal
patients) show a normal chromosomal picture but they are clearly sick,"
says Kolhe. Currently what pathologists do is, they take about 20 leukemia
cells from patients, and extract the chromosomes on to a slide. Then
examination is performed using microscope and in-situ hybridization technology.
This aids in the detection of small deletions or rearrangements.
and his team employed CytoScanHD microarray
that can search millions of chromosomes and found the
unique pattern in the cancer cells of 22 AML patients previously identified as
'cytogenetically' normal. Cell contents were then put on a computer chip with
2.7 million genetic probes. On examination, previously undetected changes in
new approach to testing blood cancer may be herald a new revolution in the
diagnosis and treatment of cancer. "This is a total game changer,"
Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University