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Curr Oncol Rep. 2003 Sep;5(5):426-35.

Monitoring bcr-abl by polymerase chain reaction in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia.

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  • 1Clinical Research Division, Program in Genetics and Genomics, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, D4-100, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


The elucidation of the molecular biology of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) has provided a paradigm for understanding leukemogenesis, targeted drug development, and disease monitoring at the molecular level. Minimal residual disease (MRD) monitoring by fluorescence in situ hybridization and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has become an important tool in predicting relapse after allogeneic transplant, allowing for early intervention strategies such as donor lymphocyte infusion. MRD monitoring is important for assessment of disease status in patients who obtain a complete cytogenetic remission, and this approach is likely to play an important role in following patients to determine who will relapse on imatinib mesylate therapy. This review focuses primarily on MRD monitoring by PCR.

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