Dr. Harry Erba, from University of Michigan Health System, Discusses Molecular Monitoring for CML
Harry Erba, MD, PhD, associate professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Health System, notes that molecular monitoring in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) allows the physician to assess the bone marrow in a non-invasive way, once the tumor has entered into complete cytogenetic remission.
Large controlled international studies have used polymerase chain reaction analyses to demonstrate that a major molecular response (MMR) that is achieved before 12 months, following the introduction of therapy, is an adequate surrogate marker for progression-free survival. According to the international standards, MMR corresponds to a 1000 fold reduction in the BCR-ABL transcript, which greatly diminishes tumor growth.
Erba believes the greatest benefit of molecular monitoring is to know exactly when a patient has developed resistance to treatment using a peripheral blood testing.