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Several different approaches have been used to detect minimal residual disease:2,6,10,11,12 A search of the recent literature on MRD detection in B-cell leukemias reveals that the most popular methods use PCR-based assays. The detection of a discrete band corresponding to a PCR product can be a way for detection of MRD, although it is usually combined with other DNA technologies such as sequencing, hybridization, and Southern blot analysis. For instance, the PCR product produced from leukemia cell DNA as determined at diagnosis can be extracted from the gel and sequenced, thus enabling the researchers to make either patient-specific primers for PCR and/or probes for Southern blots for detecting low levels of disease.
There are almost as many different specific strategies for this procedure as there are research groups doing them. Therefore, the following sections will focus on the seminal papers and large-group studies.
"Clinical significance of minimal residual disease in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia."
"Prognostic value of minimal residual disease in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in childhood."
"Measurement of residual leukemia during remission in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia."
"Immunological detection of minimal residual disease in children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia."
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