Wondering if you are biologically young and fit enough to tolerate say FCR (Fludarabine, Cyclophosphamide Rituximab), or whether a gentler treatment protocol such as BR (Bendamustine Rituximab) would suit you better? One interesting area of medical research is into designing a 'simple' blood test to report a patient's biological age. The hope is that genomic diagnostics on a patient's blood can be used to identify individualized treatment strategies for many prevalent diseases of older age and predict future health risks that will help guide targeted preventative measures.
A paper just published in Genome Biology, undertaken by King's College London, the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and Duke University in the US, assessed the value of RNA profiling tests for muscle, brain, and skin to derive a 'biological age' estimate. While the focus was on cognitive health with particular focus on Alzheimer’s disease (AD in the paper), this technique could be extended to assisting specialists with the best treatment choice for cancers, such as CLL.
From the Genome Biology Paper:
Diagnostics of the human ageing process may help predict future healthcare needs or guide preventative measures for tackling diseases of older age. We take a transcriptomics approach to build the first reproducible multi-tissue RNA expression signature by gene-chip profiling tissue from sedentary normal subjects who reached 65 years of age in good health.
We identify a novel and statistically robust multi-tissue RNA signature of human healthy ageing that can act as a diagnostic of future health, using only a peripheral blood sample. This RNA signature has great potential to assist research aimed at finding treatments for and/or management of AD and other ageing-related conditions.
Easier to read overview in Gizmag
Photo: You need to be pretty good with a welder to keep farm machinery in good working condition. Combine that with some artistic ability and you can get some unique letter boxes. This farmer just has to tell visitors trying to find the farm entrance "just drive along the road until you see the swaggie reading my mail". A swaggie (swagman) is what Aussies called an itinerant worker, who would bundle up his worldly belongings in his bedroll (known as his swag or matilda), which here is the farm mail box. Hence the well known Aussie song 'Waltzing Matilda'.