CLL Support Association
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Artificially produced platelets hopefully coming soon

Artificially produced platelets hopefully coming soon

One of the triggers for starting treatment is falling platelet levels. With levels generally falling during treatment, you need some leeway, so it is important not to put off treatment too long if they fall below 70. We can't boost production of platelets like we can neutrophils, so weekly transfusions of platelets (with attendant risks) may be needed if our levels fall too low. (Transfused platelets have a half life of about 4 days.) Hence it is encouraging to read that human platelets have now been successfully grown in an artificial bone marrow.

Gizmag Popular Science article - Human blood platelets grown in bone marrow-replicating bioreactor

"It is hoped that once the technology is scaled up, platelets made with it could be used to address shortages of donated natural platelets, and to minimize the risk of diseases being transmitted between donors and recipients. Human clinical trials are planned to begin in 2017."

Blood Journal Abstract - Platelet bioreactor-on-a-chip (which I found more interesting)


Photo: Some dusky wood swallows (Artamus cyanopterus) prove that not all Australian birds are brightly coloured, even if their beaks do have an electric blue glow.

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Verty interesting and encouraging.

I have a friend who late last year was diagnosed with AML. His platelet count fell dangerously low and he was given emergency transfusions, unfortunately the supply of platelets and their short life makes it difficult at times. He lives in Belfast and on a number of occasions he had to wait for platelets to be delivered from Dublin.

It highlighted the problem and shortage of platelets, while we have a successful blood donation service which maintains stock levels well, they also do handle platelet donation too.

Maybe its time to highlight this issue and campaign for platelet donors.



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