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J Mol Diagn. 2003 May;5(2):63-72.

Clinical applications of BCR-ABL molecular testing in acute leukemia.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7525, USA.


Recent advances in molecular genetics impact the health care and outcome of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). BCR-ABL, a common molecular defect in adult ALL, is a valuable tumor marker whose detection influences prognosis and clinical management decisions. Molecular methods such as fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR), and real-time quantitative rtPCR can be used to detect the chimeric BCR-ABL gene or its transcripts. These molecular assays improve our ability to measure residual disease and to estimate risk of relapse. On the horizon are gene expression profiles that will likely provide additional information beyond what is obtainable with current clinical and laboratory approaches.

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