Overcoming Cancer with Research - Making Successes Public

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FISH Method: Revealing Illumination

Last update on: 04/09/2009


FISH image Sabine Strehl

Dr. Sabine Strehl developed together with Univ.-Prof. Dr. Oskar Haas a series of methods, which now belong to the common exams that young leukemia patients undergo. For this, she illuminates the inside of the cell thereby exposing typical cancerous chromosome changes. The fluorescing characteristics make it possible for the doctor to make a prognosis as well as to determine early on which treatment strategy is the most appropriate. The work group "Leukemia Genetics" examines blood and bone marrow samples from all over Austria.


Biology of Leukemia

The sooner it is detected, the sooner recover can occur

For children suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), certain blood values are monitored constantly during the treatment. Of particular importance for the prognosis and the further treatment strategy: How fast does the number of leukemia cells drop at the beginning of the treatment?



Prof. Renate Panzer-Grümayer can identify individual leukemia cells from hundreds of thousands of healthy ones and has specialised in identifying this so-called "minimal residual disease" (MRD).


During and after the treatment, the incidence of the regression of the illness can be detected in a very early stage with this highly-sensitive molecular detection method. These refined diagnostics thereby result in a therapy adjusted to and individualised to the actual risk of the patient.