Dubrowsky Laboratory update – Project 1

The Dubrowsky Regenerative Medicine Laboratory Update: Upcoming projects as of June 2021

In conjunction with Aston University there are three PhD projects currently appointed to use the laboratory.

Project 1: The use of Affinity Selection Systems for intraoperative cell salvage.

The use of red blood cell salvage, has become commonplace in surgery, and orthopaedics specifically. This recycles the patient’s own red blood cells back to the patient during the surgery which has a range of benefits. It reduces and in some cases, negates the need entirely for blood transfusions, as well as reduce the risk of infection for the patient. There is also evidence that this can reduce issues of compatibility for future pregnancies in young ladies.

Unfortunately however it is not possible to use the same cell salvage technique in operations for primary cancer. This is because primary cancer operations aim to be curative, removing all of the cancer from the area. If cancer cells, were recycled to the patient, there is a risk of the cancer cells seeding elsewhere in the body.

In an ideal world we would be able to use this very same cell salvage techniques for primary cancer too in order to reduce the risks post-surgery. These patients have an even larger increased risk of an infection developing, due to the large metal endprostheses which are implanted during surgery. There is also the increased risk of infection due to chemotherapy received often during cancer treatment.

This project supports the use of new technology that would allow the identification and removal of cancer cells through an active filtration process. This would then lead to the development of a new primary cancer, red cell salvage system, which would be transformative in the care of this patient group. We hope that this will mean patient’s risks are reduced and infection rates are lower throughout the cancer treatment process.

Our laboratory is being used to develop the filtration system along with testing that filtration system with human blood, both from healthy volunteers and those with cancer cells.

This project is being funded by:

  1. The Birmingham Orthopaedic Charity (£10,000 per year for 3 years)
  2. The Bone Cancer Research Trust (Application made and result awaited)
  3. Aston University

This project is also being used as a test case for the laboratory.

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