This issue brings our readership the first of what I hope will be a series of review articles related to clinical fields that are critically supported by flow- and/or image-based cytometric techniques. Specifically, in this issue, the field of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation will be discussed. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation relies heavily on flow cytometry from initially the diagnosis and prognosis of hematopoietic disease, the assessment and monitoring of the efficacy of therapy, the analysis of auto-or heterologous CD34+ stem cell products, and ultimately to the detection of minimal residual disease.
All these monitoring time points necessarily require and are highly dependent on the rigorous diagnostic work of clinical flow cytometry laboratories as well as correlated morphologic data and information obtained from molecular and cytogenetic laboratories. It is also important to acknowledge the critical preclinical contribution that fluorescence-based cell sorting has provided in actually helping bring these present standard-of-care therapies to the clinic. However, the personnel who produce the aforementioned data in all these laboratories are in most cases relatively far removed from the “big-picture” related to their role and contribution to the clinical treatments and therapies provided to stem cell transplantation patients.
Thus, to begin to close this gap, we are most fortunate in this issue of Clinical Cytometry to receive from eminent, world-class leaders in the field of hematopoietic cell transplantation, an overview of how they view the application of this treatment modality to the serious illness they endeavor to cure (see the Review by Spitzer et al. in this issue). Drs. Thomas Spitzer, Bimalangshu Dey, Eyal Attar, Yi-bin Chen, and Karen Ballen, based at the Massachusetts General Hospital, are representative of superb world-class clinician-scientists at the forefront of the hematopoietic stem cell transplantation field. Every day, these physicians bridge the latest research findings that they often have been intimately involved and instrumental in developing, into direct clinical utility. I have been both honored and most fortunate to work closely with these individuals for many years, and the respect they enjoy from their patients, peers, trainees, and ancillary care personnel is outstanding and a credit to our medical institution. Our Clinical Cytometry readership is doubly fortunate in the benefit of having also the similarly renowned Dr. H. Lazarus and colleague Dr. A. Rosko from Case Western Reserve University to embellish further in their accompanying Guest Editorial on the accomplishments of Dr. Spitzer's preeminent transplant team (see the Editorial by Rosko and Lazarus in this issue).
This issue also brings us the abstracts from the 27th International Clinical Cytometry (ICCS) Meeting & Course to be held in New Orleans from October 5–9. The abstracts cover various areas from hematopathology, PNH, immunobiology, transplantation, FlowCAP and studies using phosflow techniques. The abstracts from the European Society for Clinical Cell Analysis (ESCCA) & Course in Budapest September 11–15 will appear in the following issue of Clinical Cytometry.