Next-generation sequencing-based minimal residual disease monitoring in patients receiving allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for acute myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome

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Purpose of reviewThe monitoring of minimal residual disease (MRD) has important clinical implications in both the pre and postallogeneic stem cell transplant (SCT) setting in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is a rapidly improving technology whose application to the monitoring of MRD is an active area of research. We aim to describe existing methods of MRD in AML and MDS, with a focus on the utility of NGS in patients undergoing SCT.Recent findingsFlow cytometry and quantitative PCR have been recommended by the European Leukemia Net as the preferred methods of MRD in AML and MDS, but these methods have limitations in cases without a disease-defining phenotype and genotype. Clinical trials are currently ongoing to assess the use of NGS in the setting of SCT for MDS and AML. Few studies have so far assessed the optimal method of MRD monitoring in the posttransplant setting.SummaryThe optimal method for the monitoring of MRD in AML and MDS both pre and post transplant may require more than one technology. NGS holds great promise for the monitoring of MRD, with prospective trials currently ongoing to evaluate its efficacy in this regard.

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