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NBME 24 Answers

nbme24/Block 1/Question#42

A 68-year-old woman with acute myelogenous leukemia ...

Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor

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I could be wrong.. but the normal ANC (absolute neutrophil count) ranges from (1,500 to 8,000/mm3) this patient is way below the normal ANC range, thus a GMCSF could help boost neutrophils which are granulocytes!

mgoyo89  I think there are two questions with this answer!!I was so scared :( +1  
trichotillomaniac  yep ---not IL-2 bc that stimulates Tcells and NK cells- I think I blacked out when I answered this question +  




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submitted by mikay92(0),

Did anyone else find this question painfully poorly written? I spent so long just trying to figure out what the heck they were asking.

It's as if they don't want us to do well...

drdoom  I don’t think the NBME ever “intends” to write an ambiguous or poorly worded stem. What they want to do is write questions whose response choices are not “blatantly obvious” but which do have a single, “most correct” choice. That’s actually surprisingly difficult! If the correct choice were “obvious”, the test would not be doing a good job assessing anyone’s ability to make subtle judgment calls (an important skill, one might argue, in the morass that is the real world); this is also the reason they eschew “buzzwords”, generally. If a stem has two or more choices that are “equally correct”, the same lapse has occurred: they would be failing to assess the capacity to make subtle judgment calls. +  
drdoom  All that said, please see this perfect metaphorical description of all Step 1 questions: reddit.com/r/step1/comments/4jegfu/took_step_1_wanted_to_share +  




Why would you give GMCSF to someone with AML?? Isn't the whole goal of treatment to knock out the granulocytes? I feel like giving someone GMCSF after they were JUST treated for AML is asking for a relapse but what the hell do I know.

drdoom  The problem in AML (acute myeloid leukemia) is that precursor cells “get stuck” on their way to becoming (mature) granulocytes. Giving GM–CSF “pushes” them toward a more differentiated state and, because they divide as they mature, the cells become vulnerable to drugs that disrupt cell division (replication): “Granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM–CSF) can stimulate proliferation of leukemic blasts and sensitize these cells to the cytotoxic effects of S-phase–specific drugs.” https://www.nature.com/articles/2402368 +