PURPOSE OF REVIEW:
Assessment of measurable residual disease (MRD) after treatment can identify patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) that are at high risk of poor outcomes. However, there is no consensus yet regarding a standardized approach to measuring MRD that is most clinically meaningful. We review multiparameter flow cytometry (MFC) and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and discuss a framework for assessing remission MRD using next-generation sequencing (NGS).
MFC and RT-PCR may not fully capitalize on the major advances that have been made in characterizing the genetic landscape of AML, which has offered insight into the biological and clinical implications of clonal genetic architecture. NGS has increasingly been shown to provide a qualitative and quantitative assessment of MRD with significant prognostic implications. The assessment of clonal architecture by NGS may complement or extend existing approaches for MRD monitoring. Long-term serial monitoring of diagnostic, remission, and relapse samples with clinical correlation will need to be performed in order to determine the impact of various MRD patterns using this technique.