Dr. Jabbour on MRD Testing in B-ALL

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Elias Jabbour, MD, discusses the importance of testing for minimal residual disease when determining optimal treatment strategies for patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Elias Jabbour, MD, professor, the Department of Leukemia, the Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the importance of testing for minimal residual disease (MRD) when determining optimal treatment strategies for patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL).

Since MRD is associated with improved outcomes with certain therapies, testing patients for MRD in the frontline setting is crucial, Jabbour says. For example, belantamab mafodotin-blmf (Blenrep) may be more effective in patients with MRD-positive multiple myeloma, Jabbour suggests. Similarly, to elicit optimal responses in B-ALL with CAR T-cell therapy, this treatment should be used upfront in patients with MRD, Jabbour explains.

Unanswered questions remain regarding the sequencing of CAR T-cell therapy in B-ALL, particularly within the context of transplant, Jabbour says. However, patients who achieve MRD negativity after receiving CAR T-cell therapy have had promising outcomes, making subsequent transplant possible in that population, Jabbour notes. MRD assessment can guide treatment sequencing with CAR T-cell therapy in B-ALL, Jabbour concludes.

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