Relevance of Minimal Residual Disease in the Era of Targeted Agents

Silvia Heltai, Paolo Ghia, Lydia Scarfò

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The evaluation of minimal residual disease (MRD) in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has evolved in parallel with the enormous progresses in the therapeutic armamentarium and the application of cutting-edge diagnostic techniques the CLL community witnessed in the past few years. Minimal residual disease is considered an objective measure of disease status defined by the number of residual leukemic cells detected in a sample of peripheral blood and/or bone marrow as proportion of the total white blood cells and defined undetectable if fewer than 1 CLL cell among 10,000 white blood cells (10-4 or 0.01%) is detected. In this review, we aim at shedding light on how to evaluate MRD, what we already know about MRD from the experience with chemoimmunotherapy, and why MRD evaluation remains still relevant in the era of targeted agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-417
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Journal (United States)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • minimal residual disease
  • targeted therapies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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