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Technologies for monitoring remaining leukemia after treatment may help predict patient outcomes
Date:7/9/2013

s of TKI maintence therapy. All study participants began with fewer than 5 percent cancer cells in their body and none had undergone stem cell transplant, nor were they at an otherwise hightened risk of relapse. Utilizing MFC and RQ-PCR technologies, investigators monitored patients for MRD after first remission and every three months thereafter.

Results from the investigation suggested that when used together, MFC and RQ-PCR monitoring technologies were effective in predicting the majority of disease progression and patient outcomes in this population. Among 44 patients who showed evidence of MRD in the first year of follow-up (either by MFC or RQ-PCR results), 13 relapsed, including 9 of 22 of the highest risk patients who showed positive MFC at three months and beyond. Thirteen of 54 patients who maintained negative MRD from three months and beyond had relapsed.

While the MRD readings observed by Dr. Ravandi and his team did not accurately predict all patient outcomes in the study population, researchers note that these results indicate that the combination of MFC and RQ-PCR technologies represents a valuable prognostic tool to measure the likelihood of a patient relapse. However, researchers caution that it is too early to integrate the use of these technologies into treatment guidelines regarding the neccessity of stem cell transplant for Ph+ ALL patients.

"While our results aligned with our observed outcome in this study and the MFC and RQ-PCR technologies are very sensitive, these tools do not yet provide absolute results. We advise that each treatment decision be made on a patient-to-patient basis to take into account each patient's different genetics," said Dr. Ravandi. "The next step is to refine and standardize our approach to better define which patients are truly disease-free and who should be recommended for more aggressive treatment."


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Contact: Amanda Szabo
aszabo@hematology.org
202-552-4914
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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