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Ehab L. Atallah, MD, discusses the prognostic role of undetectable minimal residual disease in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Ehab L. Atallah, MD, professor of medicine, section head of hematological malignancies, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, discusses the prognostic role of undetectable minimal residual disease (MRD) in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
Many recent clinical trials have indicated that achieving undetectable MRD is associated with improved event-free survival and, in some cases, overall survival, Atallah says.
Additionally, the presence or absence of MRD can be used to inform the duration of time that a patient with CLL can remain off treatment, Atallah explains. For example, time-limited treatment with venetoclax (Venclexta) can be guided based on MRD status.
Going forward, treatment decisions may be driven by the goal of achieving undetectable MRD so that patients can derive improved long-term responses without needing to remain on therapy indefinitely, Atallah concludes.