Computational Diagnostics Group compdiag MPI for Molecular Genetics

Group Members
Dept. Vingron
Group Seminar
NGFN Microarray Data Analysis Resource

Detecting Leukemia by Flow Cytometry

Jörn Tödling

Collaborators: Leonid Karawajew, Peter Rhein  (Robert-Rössle-Klinik | Charité Berlin)

Lymphocytic leukemia is an abnormal proliferation of non-functional lymphocytes, specialized white blood cells. The leukemic cells can be told apart from physiological lymphocytes by the observation of combinations of cell-surface markers, which are not found on non-mutated lymphocytes during any developmental stage.

Flow cytometry is a means of automated microscopy, which can be used to measure physical and chemical properties of cells. The presence of certain surface markers on cells can be quantified by the use of fluorochrome- conjugated antibodies. This way, for each cell, two to six surface markers can be measured in addition to cell size and cell granularity.

Current diagnostic evaluation of flow cytometry data relies on consecutive analyses of two-dimensional plots. By setting a combination of gates in these two-dimensional views, groups of cells, deemed leukemic due to uncommon marker expression, can be discovered. We want to assess the applicability of multivariate-analysis techniques, which have been used to investigate microarray data, to flow-cytometry readouts. Discovering leukemic cell groups in higher-dimensional space avoids the loss-of-information incurred with the confinement to two-dimensional views.

We aim at achieving a more stable identification of leukemic cells and gaining insight into the distribution of leukemic cells in various samples.

Sample Cytometry Data: 1000 cells and 3 surface markers.

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