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Laboratory workup in preparation of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
Macedonia (MMSA) - St. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje
Institute for immunobiology and human genetics,
Prof. dr. Dejan Trajkov
Aleksandar Petlichkovski MD PhD
English, Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian
Type of Research Project
- Clinical Project with Laboratory work
What is the background of the project?
A stem cell transplant is a procedure that replaces defective or damaged cells in patients whose normal blood cells have been affected by cancer. Stem cell transplants commonly are used to treat leukemia and lymphoma, cancers that affect the blood and lymphatic system. They also can help patients recover from or better tolerate cancer treatment. In addition, these stem cell transplants are used to treat hereditary blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia, and autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. Stem cell transplants use hematopoietic stem cells. Stem cell transplant patients are matched with eligible donors by human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing. HLA are proteins that exist on the surface of most cells in the body. HLA markers help the body distinguish normal cells from foreign cells, such as cancer cells. HLA typing is done with a patient blood sample, which is then compared with samples from a family member or a donor registry. It can sometimes take several weeks or longer to find a suitable donor. The closest possible match between the HLA markers of the donor and the patient reduces the risk of the body rejecting the new stem cells (graft versus host disease).
What is the aim of the project?
To explain the stem cell transplantation in hematological diseases, and current algorithm in selection of the best availabe voluntary donor.
What techniques and methods are used?
1. Luminex hybridization - the Luminex-based human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibody screening technology is widespread used in laboratories affiliated to kidney transplantation programs and enables both screening (i.e. the definition of positive or negative antibody status) and antibody identification with high sensitivity and specificity. HLA typing at different levels of resolution with Luminex technology uses sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes bound to color-coded microbeads in order to identify HLA alleles encoded by the DNA sample. In general, the Luminex technology for histocompatibility analyses provides rapid sample processing in a 96-well format combined with limited technical complexity which means high cost efficiency. 2. Sequence Specific Priming (SSP) and Next Generation Sequencing(NGS) for HLA typing and anti-HLA antibodies quantification.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- If the project includes “lab work”
- the student will take active part in the practical aspect of the project
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student is expected to learn the basis of stem cell and their use in transplantation as a treatment of hematological diseases. The students is expected to learn and understand how and why to use specific methods such as Luminex hybridisation that is used for HLA screening and antibody identification, as well as methods such as Sequence Specific Priming and New Generation Sequencing used for genotypisation of HLA I and HLA II class loci. Crucial part of this project is to understand the importance of HLA typing in stem cell transplantation.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
The tutor may provide reading materials to the students who seek further explanation (who are not familiar with the main topic of this research project) or are willing to know more.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- No specific outcome is expected
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Knowledge of basic physiological and genetic mechanism of immune reactions.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Graduated students (less than 6 months) - Pre-Medical students from the American-British system
- Logue; Melissa; and Bipin N Savani. “Understanding basic steps to hematopoietic stem cell transplantation evaluation.” American journal of blood research vol. 3;2 102-6. 5 May. 2013
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