Haarini
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:22 pm
Occupation: Student

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia project

Postby Haarini » Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:51 pm

Hello Science Expert,
My name is Haarini and I'm in ninth grade. I want to do a science fair project about treating chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. My project is based on a combination product being combined with monoclonal antibodies and then being administered to a cll patient. Adding onto this, I also have a novel idea as to how this drug could be administered rather than the typical intravenous method. After doing some research, I have found out that there is a study being done on immune cell sprays, and this is the link for it: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-34524-2

My idea is that this combination drug could be made into something similar to an immune cell spray and could be sprayed to the tonsil which will then start circulating throughout the lymphatic system to treat this disease. My question specifically is if this idea is feasible.

Thanks for your support!
Regards,
Haarini

MadelineB
Moderator
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Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:42 pm
Occupation: Biostatistician/Data Scientist

Re: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia project

Postby MadelineB » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:05 pm

Hi Haarini and welcome to Science Buddies,
You have chosen a very important area and this would be a very ambitious science project. It looks like the researchers in the paper you cite were using what medical researchers call an "animal model". The best way for you to pursue your ideas would be for you to find medical researchers who are willing to have you help in their lab. That way, you would be able to use their resources and their expert guidance as mentors.

Science Buddies has an article with suggestions for finding a mentor:

https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science- ... tem-mentor

Finding a mentor might take some time so don't get discouraged! Be prepared to follow the suggestions and continue searching the medical literature to see what progress is being made in this area. Keep us posted with your progress and let us know if you have more questions.

Haarini
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:22 pm
Occupation: Student

Re: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia project

Postby Haarini » Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:29 pm

Hi Madeline,
Thank you for your support. I have already sent many emails to numerous researchers and many of the responses stated that I was too young to work in a lab or even volunteer in a lab. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can approach these researchers in terms of the emails I'm sending? Additionally, if I were to send emails to researchers, is it necessary for them to be hematologists who specifically do research on chronic lymphocytic leukemia or can it be really any researcher who does research in cancer in general? Also, do you personally know of anyone who does research in this field and is interested in mentoring high school students?
Thanks,
Haarini

MadelineB
Moderator
Posts: 622
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:42 pm
Occupation: Biostatistician/Data Scientist

Re: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia project

Postby MadelineB » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:08 pm

Hello Haarini,
First of all, do not be discouraged! But it looks like you might need to do some more background research. Search the internet for articles describing the process for developing new therapies in general. You will discover that there are several steps that require carefully conducted studies, even before a new therapy can be administered to a patient for the first time.

You should also look for published papers about the current treatment of CLL. This might help you identify medical researchers who are studying therapies similar to what you are thinking of. You will want to contact those who are specializing in developing therapies for CLL.

Then think about what sort of project you can do on your own this year, and then in subsequent years. Again, I think you will find it helpful to study several sections in the Science Buddies "Advanced Project Guides" , for example

https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science- ... ce-project

and, as I mentioned previously,

https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science- ... tem-mentor

Follow the suggestions about do the research and carefully preparing the letters you send to potential mentors. You want your letter to show that you have done your homework and that you understand the process for development of new therapies. Be proactive about the argument that you are too young, and ask for their suggestions for help with a science project that you can do now, but will help to prepare you for the possibility of a summer internship later!

Again, don't be discouraged, be patient, and do your research!

Haarini
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:22 pm
Occupation: Student

Re: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia project

Postby Haarini » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:59 am

Hi Madeline,
Thanks for responding! I'll be sure to follow all of these steps to find a mentor. However, my science fair is in April, would I have enough time to find a researcher and finish my research by then?
Thanks,
Haarini

MadelineB
Moderator
Posts: 622
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:42 pm
Occupation: Biostatistician/Data Scientist

Re: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia project

Postby MadelineB » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:17 pm

Hello Haarini,

Perhaps a more realistic plan would be to work towards finding a mentor and/or a summer internship with the goal of developing a science project for next year. At the same time, having a science project for April that you can do without a mentor and with resources you have available would give you an opportunity to perhaps meet judges at the April science fair and get some feedback.

The Science Buddies project database has over 1200 projects.
https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science- ... e-projects
You can browse the projects by topic. Each project is scored by grade level and gives the estimated time. You might find projects which will help you develop experience in the methods and techniques which will help you for your future projects. One way to identify which methods and techniques will be useful would be to search the internet for the scientific papers on the treatment of CLL, particularly in the areas of combination treatments involving monoclonal antibodies. These papers will each have a Methods section which will detail laboratory procedures and the Reference section to find previous research results.

One important thing to keep in mind is the steps that are required to develop new treatments. Many studies have to be conducted in the lab before any humans are treated. This is not to discourage you but to encourage you to plan a sequence of your science projects over the next few years. It is not uncommon for students at the advanced science fairs like ISEF to have worked on the same project since they were in the 8th or 9th grade. So now is a good time for you to start but don't be discouraged that you start with a small project which you can then hopefully continue.

Hope this helps you find a project for this year!

Haarini
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:22 pm
Occupation: Student

Re: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia project

Postby Haarini » Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:57 pm

Hi Madeline,
Thank you for your help and suggestions. I ended up finding a mentor to help me for this year's project through your tips!
Thanks,
Haarini

MadelineB
Moderator
Posts: 622
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:42 pm
Occupation: Biostatistician/Data Scientist

Re: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia project

Postby MadelineB » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:58 pm

Congratulations! I look forward to hearing how your project progresses! Thanks!

Haarini
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:22 pm
Occupation: Student

Re: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia project

Postby Haarini » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:04 pm

Hi Madeline,
I'm pretty much finished the part about the combination part of my project, however, my mentor didn't have much input on the part about the immune cell spray and how I'm implementing it into my project. Additionally, I couldn't find much information on anything that relates the cell spray with the tonsils, but at the same time, I think that's the proprietary aspect of my project. From a theoretical perspective, it seems like it would work, but I do not know whether it is a feasible idea that I could add to my project. My specific question here is if I should keep the cell spray part of my project.
Thanks,
Haarini

MadelineB
Moderator
Posts: 622
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:42 pm
Occupation: Biostatistician/Data Scientist

Re: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia project

Postby MadelineB » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:34 pm

Hello Haarini,
Congratulations on your progress with the combination part of your project. Does your written project report as well as your display board include a final section where you describe your future plans? This would be a good place to include some discussion of your ideas about the cell spray. As you indicate, in order to move forward with that idea, you will need to gather background research that provides the rationale for proceeding.

I'm curious about the time frame for completing your current project? Perhaps now is the time to find another mentor (or two) so that you can start on the cell spray part for your science project for next year. Some of the most successful science projects that I've seen at ISEF were started during the student's freshman year and continued each year. You seem to have made a good start! Let us know how this year's project does and how you plan to proceed for next year. Good luck!

Haarini
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:22 pm
Occupation: Student

Re: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia project

Postby Haarini » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:18 pm

Hi Madeline,
Thank you for your advice! My mentor had mentioned something similar to this as well, so I'll happily add this part to the discussion sector of my project. I was really fumbling over whether I should even add that aspect to my project, but now I can confidently add it back in. The science fair I'm attending is actually a month from now so it would be difficult to find a second mentor now. However, thanks for your input.
Regards,
Haarini

MadelineB
Moderator
Posts: 622
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:42 pm
Occupation: Biostatistician/Data Scientist

Re: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia project

Postby MadelineB » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:15 pm

Hello Haarini,
I'm glad to help! And, yes, I agree with you that you want to wait until after this year's science fair to find a mentor. But I suggest that you start looking soon for a mentor so you can continue this project. In fact, having your ideas in the section on future work might catch the eye of one of the judges. Who knows! You might find a lead to a mentor there! Good luck!


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