BCR–ABL PCR testing in chronic myelogenous leukemia: molecular diagnosis for targeted cancer therapy and monitoring

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The use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) to treat chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) represents the paradigm for modern targeted cancer therapy. Importantly, molecular monitoring using BCR–ABL real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RQ-PCR) for assessing treatment efficacy and quantitating minimal residual disease is a major determinate of practical therapeutic decision-making in the long-term management of this now chronic disease. Herein, we present an overview of CML and the use of TKIs for targeted CML therapy, with an emphasis on the role, application and future aspects of PCR-based molecular monitoring.

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