Stephenson Cancer Center research could lead to better results for bone marrow transplant patients

OKLAHOMA CITY – New research at an Oklahoma City hospital could lead to faster results and a better diagnosis for some cancer patients.

Stephenson Cancer Center physician-scientist Jennifer Holter-Chakrabarty is the leader of the Bone Marrow Transplant team at the center.

Holter-Chakrabarty’s research reveals that a new diagnostic imaging test can more effectively identify whether or not a bone marrow transplant was successful.

Traditionally, clinicians must wait for a series of weeks to see if the bone marrow is growing, and often must wait for biopsies.

However, the 18F-FLT test is highly visible in PET and CT scans, and can determine if bone marrow is growing in as soon as five days.

“With this novel imaging, it’s the first time that someone can predict bone marrow cell growth early following an infusion,” said Holter. “We can tell more quickly if a transplant is working and if there is an early growth pattern among new blood cells and the immune system.”

When treating leukemia, patient requires extensive chemo and radiation treatments to kill the cancer cells. They also require an infusion of bone marrow to regenerate new and healthy marrow.

“This testing increases the ability to see what is going on in the marrow, helping us guide our decisions. It is also an example of why clinical trials are important. The patients involved in this study not only may help themselves, but they are also helping improve the lives of others who may battle the disease in the future.”