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Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2009 Oct;23(5):1083-98, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.hoc.2009.07.010.

Role of minimal residual disease monitoring in adult and pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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  • Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105, USA. dario.campana@stjude.org


Assays that measure minimal residual disease (MRD) can determine the response to treatment in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) much more precisely than morphologic screening of bone marrow smears. The clinical significance of MRD, detected by flow cytometry or polymerase chain reaction-based methods in childhood ALL, has been established. Hence, MRD is being used in several clinical trials to adjust treatment intensity. Similar findings have been gathered in adult patients with ALL, making MRD one of the most powerful and informative parameters to guide clinical management. This article discusses practical issues related to MRD methodologies and the evidence supporting the use of MRD for risk assignment in clinical trials.

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