Keep an eye on the Meta-Analysis Project

One Alcor-funded research project that I’m personally especially interested in is the Meta-Analysis Project. This project, led by Advanced Neural Biosciences’ Aschwin de Wolf and Michael Benjamin, gathers a vast amount of data on every one of Alcor’s cryopreservations and analyzes patterns. ANB began the Alcor Meta-Analysis Project in January 2019 with the goal of developing a quantitative method to evaluate the quality of each cryopreservation case based on a thorough review of all the available case data. The project has 3 phases.

In Phase 1, researchers review and collect relevant data points from all case reports, all raw data such as temperature data and any relevant scientific papers and, for the last decade of cases, CT scans of cryopreserved patients. In phase 2, new outcome metrics have been developed to look at variables such as cryoprotectant distribution and ice formation from the analysis of Phase 1 data. The goal of Phase 3 is to identify areas where protocol and procedure upgrades would likely have the maximum impact at improving patient preservation outcomes.

Alcor and cryonics as a whole can expect to benefit from the outcomes of this work, including:

  • a complete secure database of all the important case variables gleaned from case reports, raw data, and CT scans that can be updated with new cases.
  • important information about trends and outcomes of Alcor procedures.
  • a single or set of case metrics that provide a quantitative result that measures the quality of each patient preservation
  • information about the range of typical patient scenarios, including the modelling of unusual scenarios
  • Recommendations to improve procedures, case work, and case logistics
  • A paper to be published in a scientific journal including the exposition of the cryonics case outcome metric(s) and experimental validations

You can read the initial report in the third quarter 2020 issue of Cryonics. Next report will be published in the second quarter 2021 issue.