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Development of a Telemedical Network Supporting an Automated Flow Cytometric Analysis for the Clinical Follow-up of Leukaemia

Authors: Claude Takenga, Rolf-Dietrich Berndt, Erling Si, Markus Diem, Guohui Qiao, Melanie Gau, Michael Brandstoetter, Martin Kampel, Michael Dworzak


In patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), treatment response is increasingly evaluated with minimal residual disease (MRD) analyses. Flow Cytometry (FCM) is a fast and sensitive method to detect MRD. However, the interpretation of these multi-parametric data requires intensive operator training and experience. This paper presents a pipeline-software, as a ready-to-use FCM-based MRD-assessment tool for the daily clinical practice for patients with ALL. The new tool increases accuracy in assessment of FCM-MRD in samples which are difficult to analyse by conventional operator-based gating since computer-aided analysis potentially has a superior resolution due to utilization of the whole multi-parametric FCM-data space at once instead of step-wise, two-dimensional plot-based visualization. The system developed as a telemedical network reduces the work-load and lab-costs, staff-time needed for training, continuous quality control, operator-based data interpretation. It allows dissemination of automated FCM-MRD analysis to medical centres which have no established expertise for the benefit of an even larger community of diseased children worldwide. We established a telemedical network system for analysis and clinical follow-up and treatment monitoring of Leukaemia. The system is scalable and adapted to link several centres and laboratories worldwide.

Keywords: Data security, flow cytometry, leukaemia, telematics platform, telemedicine.

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