However, it is often difficult to distinguish MDS from readily treatable, nonmalignant forms of bone marrow disease. Thus, the absence of a reliable test to accurately diagnose MDS may preclude appropriate therapy and threaten patient health.
Using Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy to analyze changes in DNA structure, lead author, Donald C. Malins, Ph.D., D.Sc. and colleagues at the Pacific Northwest Research Institute in Seattle, in collaboration with Jerry L. Spivak, M.D., a Professor in the Hematology Division at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, developed statistical models for identifying those patients having MDS, or having a high risk for the disease.
The new test is readily performed on white cells (granulocytes) extracted from a small volume of the patient's blood. The DNA is analyzed by FT-IR spectroscopy in conjunction with statistical models.
The FT-IR technology has been successfully applied to the early prediction of breast and prostate cancer in the Malins laboratory, and has the potential to diagnose a variety of other human diseases. "The DNA test for MDS is highly predictive and most promising," said Malins, who is member of the National Academy of Sciences. "We believe that a study with a larger number of samples will validate our initial findings and thus pave the way for clinical applica
Contact: Donald C. Malins, Ph.D., D.Sc.
Pacific Northwest Research Institute