The Prognostic Significance of Measurable (“Minimal”) Residual Disease in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Francesco Buccisano, Christopher S. Hourigan, Roland B. Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The purpose of this review was to evaluate recent literature on detection methodologies for, and prognostic significance of, measurable (“minimal”) residual disease (MRD) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Recent Findings: There is no “one-fits-all” approach to MRD testing in AML. Most exploited to date are methods relying on immunophenotypic aberrancies (identified via multiparameter flow cytometry) or genetic abnormalities (identified via PCR-based assays). Current methods have important shortcomings, including the lack of assay platform standardization/harmonization across laboratories. In parallel to refinements of existing technologies and data analysis/interpretation, new methodologies (e.g., next-generation sequencing-based assays) are emerging that eventually may complement or replace existing ones. Summary: This dynamic evolution of MRD testing has complicated comparisons between individual studies. Nonetheless, an ever-growing body of data demonstrates that a positive MRD test at various time points throughout chemotherapy and hematopoietic cell transplantation identifies patients at particularly high risks of disease recurrence and short survival even after adjustment for other risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-556
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Hematologic Malignancy Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Flow cytometry
  • Minimal residual disease
  • Next-generation sequencing
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Prognostication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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