Modena, Italy is the town where one of the world's rarest cars were first developed and built: the Ferrari sports car. It’s also home to one of the world’s oldest universities where today’s guest spends his time studying rare human cells.
Andrea Cossarizza is Professor of Pathology at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia School of Medicine and the President Elect of ISAC, or the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry. He joins us today to talk about the role that improved cytometry technologies are playing in detecting rare cells and how this is being translated into better treatments for patients with cancer and other diseases such as immune disorders.
With the advent of immuno therapy has come a renewed interest in rare cells, or cells that occur with less frequency than 1 in 1000. Rare cells include the antigen specific T cells that we hear so much about with immuno oncology. But rare cells are also studied in many immune and inflammatory diseases such as HIV.
“This is a very new and interesting field which will have enormous importance in the future,” says Andrea, who wrote the chapter on rare cells in a new book on single cell analysis.
Andrea says that though new immuno therapies have shown such enormous promise, they only work on about half the patients. Being able to detect rare immune cells in advance of treatment will help clinicians to know which patients will respond.
What are the challenges that are emerging in this new field? When should the patient be tested? How does rare cell detection technology need to develop?
Join us as we lift the hood on the future of rare cell detection.