Currently, physicians treating chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) patients can rely on a wide spectrum of therapeutic options: the best use of such options is essential to achieve excellent clinical outcomes and, possibly, treatment-free remission (TFR). To accomplish this, proper integration of expert clinical and laboratory monitoring of CML patients is fundamental. Molecular response (MR) monitoring of patients at defined time points has emerged as an important success factor for optimal disease management and BCR-ABL1 kinase domain mutation screening is useful to guide therapeutic reassessment in patients who do not achieve optimal responses to tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy. Deeper MRs might be associated with improved long-term survival outcomes. More importantly, they are considered a gateway to TFR. In molecular biology, novel procedures and technologies are continually being developed. More sophisticated molecular tools and automated analytical solutions are emerging as CML treatment endpoints and expectations become more and more ambitious. Here we provide a critical overview of current and novel methodologies, present their strengths and pitfalls and discuss what their present and future role might be.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.