American Hospital Dubai adds latest technology to speed up definitive diagnosis of cancer and leukemia, from days to hours

August 4, 2014 9:14 am

The American Hospital Dubai has become the first private hospital in the UAE to acquire the FACSCalibur Flow Cytometry system (analyzer and software), the state of the art technology used in the fast and definitive diagnosis of cancers and tumors of the blood cells/leukemia.

The system users lasers to analyze patient cell samples, with the results then interpreted through the skills of a highly trained Certified Cytometrist.

Initial results are available within two hours rather than days. The hospital’s Cancer Care Center opened in 2005 and offers adults and children a comprehensive range of diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation services, including chemotherapy and the only radiotherapy department in Dubai. The Cancer Care Center treats up to 50 patients every day.

Flow cytometry is a laser-based, biophysical technology used in cell counting, cell sorting, biomarker detection and protein engineering, by suspending cells in a stream of fluid and passing them by an electronic detection apparatus. It analyzes the physical and chemical characteristics of up to thousands of particles per second. Flow cytometry is widely used in the diagnosis of a range of health disorders, especially blood cancers, as well as in basic research, clinical practice and clinical trials.

The new FACSCalibur system can analyze any patient sample from blood to bone marrow to body fluids, across 30 different markers to generate a fast (50,000 cells in a few seconds) and clear picture for the Cytometrist to interpret, which helps guide the diagnosis and treatment process. The new system is based in the Hospital’s medical laboratory, which was the first in the Middle East to be accredited by the College of American Pathologists.

The FACSCalibur system is the latest addition to the Cancer Care Center at the American Hospital Dubai, which offers comprehensive cancer care services from diagnostics, to treatment options including radiology and chemotherapy, and rehabilitation. The team offers personalized support for every patient and also operates a ‘Tumor Board’ meeting every week to assess the progress of patients, bringing together the skills and experience of specialists from across the hospital.

Commenting on the significance of the new FACSCalibur system, Aaron Han, MD, PhD, Chief, Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine at the American Hospital Dubai, said, “This new system speeds up the analysis of specimen cells very significantly with a preliminary reading within two hours and, therefore, the diagnosis of cancers and leukemia – and even the specific type of leukemia; this means patients enter treatment programs earlier, which can help improve the treatment outcome. This is a significant investment but there is a clear need and demand for this service within the community as our Cancer Care Center continues to grow.”

The Cancer Care Center was set up in 2005 and treats all forms of cancerous malignancies and has the only radiation therapy center in Dubai. The team treats all types of cancers, tumors and blood disorders for patients, around 20% of whom come from outside the UAE; the team can treat any complex case in adults and children, and provides treatment for ongoing or new patients, seeing between 40 and 50 patients every day.