Dr. Radich on Measuring MRD in Hematologic Malignancies

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Jerald P. Radich, MD, discusses measuring minimal residual disease (MRD) in hematologic malignancies.

Jerald P. Radich, MD, member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and professor, University of Washington School of Medicine, discusses measuring minimal residual disease (MRD) in hematologic malignancies.

The optimal way to measure MRD can vary between diseases, says Radich.

However, flow cytometry is a commonly utilized modality that measures aberrant antigen presentation on cells, says Radich. Flow cytometry has a sensitivity of 1 leukemia cell in 1000 to 10,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR)—based detection. PCR-based detection looks at translocations or point mutations.

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is another option of measuring MRD, explains Radich. Although NGS looks at translocations and point mutations comprehensively, it is less sensitive compared with flow cytometry and may not be cost effective.

Other MRD testing methods, such as single-cell genomics, are beginning to emerge and aim to decipher the complex nature of clonal evolution, says Radich.

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