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Nat Rev Cancer. 2018 Apr;18(4):255-263. doi: 10.1038/nrc.2017.125. Epub 2018 Jan 29.

Targeting minimal residual disease: a path to cure?

Author information

1
Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.
2
Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and the Departments of Biological Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
3
Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA, and at the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.

Abstract

Therapeutics that block kinases, transcriptional modifiers, immune checkpoints and other biological vulnerabilities are transforming cancer treatment. As a result, many patients achieve dramatic responses, including complete radiographical or pathological remission, yet retain minimal residual disease (MRD), which results in relapse. New functional approaches can characterize clonal heterogeneity and predict therapeutic sensitivity of MRD at a single-cell level. Preliminary evidence suggests that iterative detection, profiling and targeting of MRD would meaningfully improve outcomes and may even lead to cure.

PMID:
29376520
DOI:
10.1038/nrc.2017.125

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