Information about Leukemia in the face of COVID

What Is Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) in Leukemia?

Every person who is diagnosed with leukemia hopes to achieve lasting remission and avoid relapses. With modern treatments, rates of remission are high for most types of leukemia.1 However, relapse continues to be a serious concern for many people who achieve remission from leukemia. Even just a few cancer cells remaining after treatment could grow and eventually cause relapse.

In recent years, new techniques have emerged to accurately detect and measure even tiny numbers of cancer cells that may be missed by other types of tests. This measurement of remaining cancer cells is known as minimal residual disease (MRD). Some tests for MRD can detect even one leukemia cell among 1 million normal cells.

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