Role of Minimal (Measurable) Residual Disease Assessment in Older Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Francesco Buccisano, Richard Dillon, Sylvie D Freeman, Adriano Venditti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Minimal (or measurable) residual (MRD) disease provides a biomarker of response quality for which there is robust validation in the context of modern intensive treatment for younger patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Nevertheless, it remains a relatively unexplored area in older patients with AML. The lack of progress in this field can be attributed to two main reasons. First, physicians have a general reluctance to submitting older adults to intensive chemotherapy due to their frailty and to the unfavourable biological disease profile predicting a poor outcome following conventional chemotherapy. Second, with the increasing use of low-intensity therapies (i.e., hypomethylating agents) differing from conventional drugs in mechanism of action and dynamics of response, there has been concomitant skepticism that these schedules can produce deep hematological responses. Furthermore, age dependent differences in disease biology also contribute to uncertainty on the prognostic/predictive impact in older adults of certain genetic abnormalities including those validated for MRD monitoring in younger patients. This review examines the evidence for the role of MRD as a prognosticator in older AML, together with the possible pitfalls of MRD evaluation in older age.

Original languageEnglish
Article number215
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2018


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