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Best Pract Res Clin Haematol. 2002 Mar;15(1):119-35.

Minimal residual disease in acute myeloid leukaemia.

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  • 1University Department of Haematology, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester M13 9WL, UK.


Relapse remains the main cause of treatment failure in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Studies to date suggest that monitoring of minimal residual disease (MRD) in AML is useful in identifying patients at high risk of relapse from those in durable remission. This chapter describes the methodological advances in the detection of MRD and, in particular, focuses on the development of highly sensitive RT-PCR techniques, including real-time, for quantifying MRD. Preliminary results on the clinical utility of MRD monitoring in AML with t(8;21) and inv(16) are promising and provide the basis for further evaluation by quantitative real-time analysis in prospective clinical trials. For AML without a specific fusion transcript, the WT1 gene is an alternative molecular target. The clinical value of quantitative MRD monitoring in AML, however, will need to be confirmed in future studies.

Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.

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