In a nutshell
This study aimed to investigate the significance of minimal residual disease in relation to survival in patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
This study concluded that minimal residual disease may be useful in assessing prognosis and guiding treatment decisions in these patients.
Minimal residual disease (MRD) is when a small number of leukemia cells remain during treatment or after treatment. This is usually when the patient is in remission. However, it can lead to relapse. MRD in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) seems to be a prognostic indicator. A prognostic indicator is a factor that indicates the effectiveness and outcome of treatment. MRD may be able to be used to help decide on individual treatment options.
The association between MRD and long-term outcomes of patients with ALL is still unknown.
Methods & findings
This study reviewed and analyzed 23 other studies. Most patients involved were in their first complete remission (CR) when they were assessed for MRD. CR is when all signs and symptoms of the disease are gone. Relapse-free survival (RFS – survival without the disease coming back) and overall survival (OS) were measured.
Patients who achieved MRD negativity (little or no MRD present) showed 2.34 times higher RFS. Patients who achieved MRD negativity also showed 2.19 times higher OS.
There was no difference in the impact of MRD status according to disease stage or genetic status.
The bottom line
This study concluded that MRD may be useful in assessing prognosis and guiding treatment decisions in patients with B-cell ALL.
The fine print
The studies included had very different protocols. Further research is needed.
Published By :
Mar 19, 2019