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Technique May Aid Detection of Residual Leukemia

Tagging leukemia cells with magnetic particles allows them to be preferentially sampled

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- A technique that tags leukemia cells using antibody-coated magnetic nanoparticles and allows them to be preferentially sampled greatly increases the ability to detect residual disease, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in Cancer Research.

Jason E. Jaetao, from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and colleagues tested the ability of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) conjugated to an antibody against the acute leukemia antigen CD34, followed by a magnetic needle biopsy to preferentially collect the charged leukemia cells, to help detect residual leukemias using leukemia cells producing various amounts of CD34.

Using three different methods to assess cell sampling, the researchers found that the antibody-conjugated SPIONs preferentially bound leukemias producing high levels of CD34. The technique was able to detect leukemia cells diluted into normal blood at levels lower than those normally found in remission bone marrow samples, as well as increase the detection of lymphoblasts in undiluted bone marrow by 10-fold.

"These data suggest that bone marrow biopsy using antigen-targeted magnetic nanoparticles and a magnetic needle for the evaluation of minimal residual disease in CD34-positive acute leukemias can significantly enhance sensitivity compared with the current standard of care," Jaetao and colleagues conclude.

Several authors are employees of Chemicell or Senior Scientific L.L.C., and one author has an equity interest in two companies developing magnetic resonance-based biosensing technologies.

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