Promising new diagnostic method for invasive fungal infections
Novel diagnostic tests to identify invasive fungal infections provide chronically ill patients, such as those with diabetes or leukemia, with new therapeutic perspectives. In patients with compromised immune systems, fungi cause infections that affect the brain or lungs and can prove very difficult to diagnose. In 2014, a national team of scientists around Prof. Oliver A. Cornely from the CECAD Cluster of Excellence at the University of Cologne and the University Hospital achieved a break- through, by using fungus-reactive T cells in a new test procedure.
FLY – fatigue with lymphoma
Exhaustion and impaired cognitive function are two of many undesirable side effects of many cancer therapies and affect up to two-thirds of all cancer patients. Most studies in this area use data based on subjective assessments. The FLY project aims to provide an overview of the physiological and molecular aspects of cancer treatments that lead to the symptoms mentioned above. The project combines EEG results and blood tests with subjective methods to optimize therapeutic options.
CLUD pilot – Technical innovation: measuring bladder pressure without a catheter
Overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome is a urological disease affecting up to 25.6% of men and 17.4% of women in Europe, with a negative impact on the quality of life. Unfortunately, current standard urodynamic tests investigate only a short period of 20 to 30 minutes.
To improve diagnosis and allow appropiate treatment to be described, the Department of Urology at the University Hospital of Cologne, together with the cooperation of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology in Chemnitz, developed a capsule for longer measurements (WiCa).
The WiCa is inserted into the bladder, where it will continuously record significant bladder pressure changes for up to 3 days. As a result,the side effects of antimuscarinic drugs can be avoided and different types of treatments developed for patients with OAB.This project represents trend-setting innovation and advancementin the accurate and minimally invasively diagnosis of urinary incontinence pathophysiology. (Wille et al. PloS One 2014)
Extracorporeal removal of soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 in pre-eclampsia
Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy associated with significant maternal and fetal morbidity. Soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1) has been shown to induce a preeclampsia-like phenotype in experimental models and elevated circulating levels of sFlt-1 are detected in human preeclampsia (Levine et al., 2004). Prof. Benzing's team has shown that extracorporeal apheresis can lower circulating sFlt-1 in the early stages of pre-eclampsia and prolong pregnancy without any apparent adverse adverse reactions in the mother or fetus (Thadhani et al., 2011).
Prof. Dr. Oliver A. Cornely
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Figure 1: Histology of a spleen sample with fungal infiltration (Mucorales)
Figure 2: Chest CT scan with typical infiltration indicative for invasive mold infection
Figure 3: Cystoscopy with WiCa
Figure 4: Prototype: WiCa