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Dr. Durie on a More Sensitive Automated Flow Cytometry MRD Test

Brian G.M. Durie, MD
Published Online: Monday, December 16, 2013
Brian G.M. Durie, MD, chairman, International Myeloma Foundation, hematologist/oncologist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, discusses a more sensitive automated flow cytometry minimal residual disease (MRD) test.

Durie says there is an automated flow cytometry MRD test that is nearly ready for commercial use. In order to develop this test, researchers went back to the drawing board and looked at the phenotype of the diverse abnormal plasma cells that are seen in the different forms of myeloma. Based on this, Durie says, the researchers came up with a cocktail of 8 antigens that identify myeloma regardless of its state or location in the body.

In addition to the cocktail, a computer software program was developed so that the read-out is not dependent on an observer. These results are analyzed using a computer algorithm, Durie says, producing an exact print out of the presence or absence of the malignant plasma cells.

Durie says this is an unexpected, major success. The sensitivity of the test is 10-5 and maybe even lower.

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