Molecular Imaging to Capture Disease Heterogeneity in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
The current understanding of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is that one site of bone marrow
(BM) sampling serves as a window that represents all AML cells distributed throughout the
BM, an assumption that has yet to be questioned. Simulation in mice led to inconsistent
representation of the full BM, which can incorrectly suggest the absence of leukemic cells.
Positron-emission tomography (PET) scan can detect areas of high metabolic activity in the
body using for instance a radioactive sugar. In one report, its use in human AML has
provided proof-of-principle evidence of unequal distribution of AML cells in BM.
Accordingly, the alternative hypothesis is to test if PET scan can demonstrate if BM
geography can alter AML cells spread and home them as distinct areas rather than uniform
spread as if they are distributed in liquid state.
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