Response to treatment

Patients’ response to treatment should be continually monitored. Monitoring the progression of leukaemia during and after treatment is done by measuring the Minimal Residual Disease (MRD).

MRD measures the presence of leukaemia at a molecular level rather than at a cellular level in either the peripheral blood or bone marrow.

Biomarkers linked to leukaemia cells are measured using molecular techniques such as flow cytometry to determine the very small amounts of leukaemia cells which are still remaining in patients.

Haematologists use patients’ MRD status to assess therapeutic response and guide treatment decisions.

MRD testing is a very sensitive assessment of remission and an early detection of relapse. Undetectable MRD is defined as <1 leukaemia cell per 10,000 white blood cells.

In addition to measurement of MRD, blood tests, bone marrow samples and scans will be repeated throughout treatment to monitor the patients’ response to treatment.

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