Bone marrow biopsies are a standard technique for the diagnosis of a number blood borne cancers such as leukemias, multiple myeloma, and lymphomas. This technique has evolved little over the last half century, with doctors using a large needle to pass through the bone into the soft bone marrow where blood cells are made. This technique is quite difficult at times, relying on the doctors arm strength to force the needle through. This can also be quite uncomfortable for the patient. In collaboration with the San Antonio based company VidaCare, investigators at the CTRC helped to test the use of a new powered device. This device is much like a very compact drill, and requires no physical exertion by the doctor. The results of this study have shown the use of the powered device to obtain samples from patients much faster than the traditional technique, to provide larger and superior samples, and hopefully will make this procedure less difficult for the patient. The device is now commercially available and may change the way this procedure is done across the country.
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