alexa Towards individualized follow-up in adult acute myeloid leukemia in remission
Pathology

Pathology

Diagnostic Pathology: Open Access

Author(s): Hokland P, Ommen HB

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An increasing body of data has demonstrated that the traditional concept of morphologic complete remission in acute myeloid leukemia, in which less than 5% myeloblasts is regarded as a sufficient response criterion, is not biologically sound. Fortunately, the quantitative reverse-transcribed polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method seems to be a promising alternative because of its high degree of preclinical standardization and extreme sensitivity on the background of an accurate day-to-day estimate of sample quality. Widespread implementation of this has, however, to some extent been hampered by the lack of knowledge of how and when to measure minimal residual disease levels and, even more importantly, how to react preemptively on a molecular relapse defined by a PCR reversal. Thus, only few prospective studies have been published to date to clinically validate this assay. Here, we discuss outstanding issues in the clinical implementation of RT-PCR for fusion transcripts, mutated and overexpressed genes in acute myeloid leukemia patients in complete remission, and propose a set of guidelines, which can be used when designing prospective trials aimed at validating the use of RT-PCR as well as for following these patients based on mathematical models for disease recurrence recently developed in our laboratory.

This article was published in Blood and referenced in Diagnostic Pathology: Open Access

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