Noelle Frey, MD, MSCE, discusses measuring minimal residual disease throughout treatment for patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia.
Noelle Frey, MD, MSCE, associate professor of medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, discusses measuring minimal residual disease (MRD) throughout treatment for patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).
Measuring MRD throughout treatment should be a standard of care for all patients with ALL because MRD helps the patient and physician understand the disease prognosis, explains Frey. When patients are MRD positive, even when they are in complete remission, their chances of relapsing are very high, says Frey.
Newer agents that work very differently than chemotherapy are important tools for patients who are MRD positive and resistant to chemotherapy, according to Frey. Blinatumomab (Blincyto), which was approved by the FDA in March 2018 to treat patients with ALL who are MRD positive, Frey concludes.