When we take the time to study what's known about CLL, we begin to find that some of what's been long assumed to be correct by researchers, is based on a reasonable assumption due to the impossibility or extreme difficulty of actually observing what CLL cells do in different parts of the body. While it's easy to study CLL cells in blood samples, researchers only recently found out that their long held belief that CLL cells didn't do much was based on an incorrect extrapolation from their observed behaviour in the blood, where they were exhausted from previously being active in a lymph node: healthunlocked.com/cllsuppo...
What CLL cells do in our bone marrows is also very difficult to determine, with most of our knowledge based on the study of transplanted human immune systems in laboratory mice specially bred with impaired immune systems so they won't reject the human blood cells. So it's exciting to read that 'Engineered bone marrow grown in a microfluidic chip device mimics living bone marrow, according to research published in Tissue Engineering.
Experiments showed the engineered bone marrow responded in a way similar to living bone marrow when exposed to damaging radiation followed by treatment with compounds that aid in blood cell recovery.': hematologytimes.com/p_artic...
While not CLL related, hopefully eventually this technology will enable us to study CLL in an artificial 'human' bone marrow and reduce the need for animal testing.
Only yesterday I posted about the promise of microfluidic technology for more accurate blood tests:
Photo: Not blood cells in bone marrow, but a flowering bougainvillea