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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a
blood processing apparatus, and more particularly to a blood processing apparatus for chemical
treatment of blood diseases such as leukemia.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Therapeutic agents are generally administered directly to the
body of a patient to chemically treat hematological disorders such as leukemia. For example,
patients receiving chemotherapy are often injected intravenously with anticancer agents. In the
case of leukemia, in order to attack the rapidly proliferating white blood cells, a highly toxic drug
is administered, or the drug is administered to a relatively high blood concentration at which an
effect can be obtained. This often results in various side effects.
On the other hand, in the treatment of cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL), a new chemotherapy
has been developed using a device called photopheresis (Science Japan edition, October 1988,
pp. 65 to 73). As shown in FIG. 3, the photopheresis apparatus 20 includes a centrifuge 21 for
separating blood into components, and is controlled by a microprocessor. In this device, blood
components contained in the bag 22a are stored in the bag 22b through the transparent plastic
flow path 23. A powerful ultraviolet lamp 24 is provided on both sides of the flow path 23. The
patient's blood is separated into components by the centrifuge 21, and the plasma and white
blood cells are contained in the bag 22a. The components of the bag 22 a are mixed with the
saline contained in the bag 22 c and sent to the flow path 23. The liquid passing through the
flow path 23 is irradiated with strong ultraviolet light A (UVA) from the ultraviolet lamp 24. The
UV-irradiated component is mixed with the other components that have been centrifuged and
returned to the patient.
Problem to be Solved by the Invention Photopheresis has provided a means of treating the blood
or blood components with the drug light outside the patient's body in chemotherapy. This is
thought to have opened the way for chemical treatment to activate drugs with light and
selectively act on targets.
On the other hand, the present inventors thought that it is not limited to activation by light, but it
is necessary to study improvement of action of a wider range of drugs. Moreover, when using
activation by light, in order to obtain sufficient activation, it is necessary to consider the
transmittance of light of blood or the like to be treated, and it was also considered that the
treatment conditions are limited. And especially in the treatment of hematological diseases, there
is a need for means capable of performing effective treatment even if the concentration of
various drugs to be administered is lowered. The object of the present invention is to meet such a
need, and in the treatment of blood diseases in particular, a wider range of drugs can be applied
at lower doses or at lower concentrations for effective treatment. To provide a device that can
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A blood processing apparatus according to the present invention
has a flow path for flowing blood having an inlet and an outlet, and for sending blood in the flow
path from the inlet to the outlet. A pump, drug injection means for injecting a drug into the flow
path, and ultrasonic wave application means for applying ultrasonic waves to blood into which
the drug is injected in the flow path.
In the blood processing apparatus according to the present invention, if the patient's blood is
supplied from the inlet to the flow path, it can be sent by the pump in the direction of the outlet.
The blood in the channel is mixed with the drug by the drug injection means. An ultrasonic wave
is applied to the blood mixed with the drug by ultrasonic wave application means. In this way, the
patient's blood is sonicated with the medication and then drained from the outlet of the flow
an embodiment of a blood processing apparatus according to the present invention. In the blood
processing apparatus 1, a tube 2 a for introducing the blood of the patient 10 into the apparatus
is connected to the chamber 4. The tube 2a is formed of, for example, a vinyl chloride resin,
polyethylene or silicone resin. Moreover, the tube 2a is wound around the rotary head of the
roller pump 3 provided separately. Thereby, the introduced blood is sent to the chamber 4 at a
constant flow rate. Chamber 4, on the other hand, is provided for mixing blood with drug and
sonicating. The chamber 4 is provided with a container 5 for containing a drug via a tube 2b. The
medicine is sent at a constant flow rate into the chamber 4 by, for example, a separately provided
pump (not shown). The chamber 4 can be kept warm by a heater 6 provided on the outer
periphery thereof. In addition, an ultrasonic actuator 7 is provided in the chamber 4. The
ultrasonic actuator 7 is connected to a transmission circuit 8 provided outside the chamber 4.
The ultrasonic actuator 7 can generate an ultrasonic wave having a frequency of 10 KHz to 1
MHz, for example. As the ultrasonic actuator 7, an electrostrictive element or a magnetostrictive
element can be used. Further, in the chamber 4, an ultrasonic power monitor sensor 9a is
provided to control ultrasonic waves. The ultrasonic power monitor sensor 9 a is electrically
connected to an ultrasonic power monitor circuit 9 b provided outside the chamber 4. The
transmission circuit 8 is controlled by the signal detected by the sensor 9a and processed by the
monitor circuit 9b. As a result, the output of ultrasonic waves can be controlled. In addition, a
tube 2 c is provided at a position facing the tube 2 a in the chamber 4 in order to discharge the
fluid in the chamber 4. The tube 2c can be formed of a vinyl chloride resin, polyethylene, silicone
resin or the like as the tube 2a. Further, the hemolysis sensor 10 and the air bubble sensor 11
can be provided in the tube 2c. As the hemolysis sensor 10, a sensor that detects hemolysis by a
change in light transmission characteristics can be used. These sensors make it possible to
monitor the state of blood discharged from the tube 2c. Moreover, you may provide another
sensor as needed. The tube 2 c can be used to return blood to the patient 10. In the device thus
configured, the blood of the patient 10 is mixed with an appropriate amount of drug in the
chamber 3 and sonicated and then returned.
Therefore, the device shown here can function as an extracorporeal circulation device. On the
other hand, the above apparatus can also be used as an apparatus for processing blood collected
The device schematically shown as described above can be, for example, an assembled device as
shown in FIG. In the apparatus shown in FIG. 2, the delivery speed of the pump 3, the delivery
speed of a pump (not shown) for supplying the drug in the container 5, the output of the
ultrasonic unit 17, the temperature of the chamber, and the solution sensor 10 The information
from the air bubble sensor 11 is displayed on the display 12. Further, the liquid feeding speed,
the output of ultrasonic waves, the temperature of the chamber, and the like can be controlled by
the operation panel 13. A plurality of medicines can be supplied to the chamber 4 by further
providing a system for supplying medicines in the above device. In addition, if means (for
example, a filter) for removing the drug is provided in the tube 2c for discharging the blood
processed in the chamber 4, only the blood can be removed by the drug, and the side effect is
effectively achieved. Can be reduced. Furthermore, the parts of the device through which blood is
flushed (e.g. tubes and chambers) can be disposable.
According to the apparatus described above, the ultrasonic wave acts on the blood component to
improve the sensitivity of the blood component to the drug. For example, when treating the blood
of a leukemia patient, ultrasound acts on malignant lymphocytes to improve the sensitivity to a
cancer drug. As a result, fewer drugs can achieve favorable chemotherapeutic effects. Also,
because the drug is administered locally in the chamber for blood, the drug can attack the target
without waste. Also, when blood is returned to the patient's body, drugs that have been at
effective concentrations in the chamber will be diluted to reduce toxicity. Furthermore, as
described above, when the drug is removed from the blood by any means, the systemic drug
concentration can be kept lower. As described above, the side effects of the drug can be
dramatically reduced.
As described above, the present invention improves the effect on a very wide range of drugs
(especially drugs against blood diseases) by mixing blood with the drug and sonicating it. It is.
According to this invention, it is possible to provide a synergistic chemotherapeutic effect by
ultrasound and a drug. According to the present invention, the drug can be effectively acted at a
small dose or blood concentration. Therefore, side effects of the drug can be reduced. From the
above, the present invention is very effective as a means for chemically treating blood diseases
such as leukemia in particular.
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