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Leuk Lymphoma. 2003 Mar;44(3):445-50.

Multidimensional flow cytometry for detection of minimal residual disease in acute myeloid leukemia.

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Cattedra di Ematologia, Universit√° di Roma "Tor Vergata", Divisione di Ematologia, Osp. S. Eugenio, P.le dell'Umanesimo 10-00144, Rome, Italy.


The term minimal residual disease (MRD) describes the situation in which, after chemotherapy for acute leukemia (AL), a morphologically normal bone marrow (BM) can still harbor a relevant amount of residual malignant cells. Several techniques are now amenable to investigate MRD, and all together they have designated a new era in which a re-definition of the current criteria of complete remission (CR) is required. Depending upon the measured level of MRD we can distinguish a variety of clinical situations ranging from a potentially cured disease to short-term remission. In the context of this spectrum of conditions there would be room for different therapeutic strategies ranging from no further therapy to pre-emptive therapy to treat early relapses (immunologic and/or molecular relapses). This review will focus on the state of art of MRD detection in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) using multidimensional flow cytometry (MFC), and will cover the laboratory and clinical aspects of this approach.

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