Confocal bone marrow examination in ITP patients

Dr Nichola Cooper (Consultant Haematologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Imperial College London/Hammersmith Hospital) has received £9,000 from The ITP Support Association to study bone marrow using modern imaging techniques. Platelets are developed from megakaryocytes, which are formed in the bone marrow and Dr Cooper is hoping to gain more understanding about bone marrow to help doctors to understand why people with ITP respond differently to currently available treatments.

This project involves staining bone marrow trephines to analyse the interactions of the immune system in the bone marrow. We have found that patients with ITP have increased T cell interactions with the megakaryocyte when compared to bone marrows from patients without ITP. We are developing novel imaging techniques to further characterize these interactions. We hope that these techniques will allow us to understand what kind of disease patients have, i.e. antibody, or T cell, or both. This should allow us to make better decisions on what treatments to use in individual patients.

Dr Nichola Cooper. December 2013

The ITP Support Association is extremely grateful to Steven Sims Cavaliers whose amazing fundraising efforts in memory of their friend Steven Sims have provided the funds enabling us to support this project.

Dr Nichola Cooper

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