We all have small numbers of circulating stem cells (CD34+). In MPNs, the numbers are higher than those who do not have an MPN. They further increase in number with progression to leukaemia and marrow fibrosis. The team is about to commence looking at a new approach using these CD34+ cells in the blood to see if they have changes in the chromosomes that may predict progression or change in status of the MPN. They have some support from a University grant to get this started, and have formed a collaboration with MPN haematologists and scientists in Belfast to include samples from their patients.
The method the team will use is their own invention, and the one that won a Eureka Award (affectionately known as the “Oscars of Science”!) in 2018 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AvLxCLkAJc). As you will see from the Youtube video it is a flow cytometry method that enables the study thousands of cells to see if the cell-of-interest has the chromosome change that may predict progression.
We are exceedingly fortunate to have researchers of such high calibre working on MPNs in Australia. MPN AA is raising funds to support their research. Let’s get behind them!
Please support this ground-breaking MPN research in Australia this Christmas, and donate via this link.