Tiny filters help detect cancerous blood cells

phys.org | 10/28/2019 | Staff
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Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer in which malignant plasma cells, a type of white blood cell, accumulate in the bone marrow. This leads to bone destruction and failure of the marrow, which in healthy individuals, produce all the body's red blood cells. The most recent data from the American Cancer Society estimates that almost 27,000 new cases of MM are diagnosed every year, and of these, over 11,000 patients died.

Recent studies have shown some myeloma cells can leave the bone marrow and enter the blood stream. The presence of these cells, known as clonal circulating plasma cells, or cCPCs, in the blood has been correlated with shorter survival times.

CCPCs - Blood - Methods - Levels - Cells

Until now, it has been difficult to detect cCPCs in the blood. Existing methods cannot always detect the low levels of these cells in MM patients. In this week's issue of Biomicrofluidics, investigators report the development of a new device that can detect and isolate cCPCs from small samples of blood.

The device is a type of filter that separates malignant plasma cells from normal ones. It is based on a concept known as microfluidics. The filtering action is due to tiny pillars in the flow channel, designed in a precise way that allows normal blood cells through the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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