Assessing Minimal Residual Disease in Patients With ALL

March 4, 2014
Mark R. Litzow, MD

Mark R. Litzow, MD, chair, ECOG-ACRIN Leukemia Committee, professor of medicine, Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, discusses ways of conducting minimal residual disease (MRD) assessments in patients with ALL.

Clinical Pearls

Mark R. Litzow, MD, chair, ECOG-ACRIN Leukemia Committee, professor of medicine, Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, discusses ways of conducting minimal residual disease (MRD) assessments in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

  • Flow cytometry looks for abberant antigen expression of the lymphoblast
  • Polymerase chain reaction looks at T cell receptor gene rearrangements for T cell ALL and hemoglobin gene rearrangements for B cell ALL
  • Polymerase chain reaction is more labor intensive than flow cytometry, as primers have to be developed for each patient
  • Next generation sequencing is being tested as a method for assessing MRD