Digital PCR for BCR-ABL1 Quantification in CML: Current Applications in Clinical Practice

Camille C B Kockerols, Peter J M Valk, Mark-David Levin, Niels Pallisgaard, Jan J Cornelissen, Peter E Westerweel

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftReviewForskningpeer review


Molecular monitoring of the BCR-ABL1 transcript for patients with chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) has become increasingly demanding. Real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) is the routinely used method, but has limitations in quantification accuracy due to its inherent technical variation. Treatment recommendations rely on specific BCR-ABL1 values set at timed response milestones, making precise measurement of BCR-ABL1 a requisite. Furthermore, the sensitivity of qPCR may be insufficient to reliably quantify low levels of residual BCR-ABL1 in patients in deep molecular response (DMR) who could qualify for an attempt to discontinue Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor (TKI) therapy. We reviewed the current use of digital PCR (dPCR) as a promising alternative for response monitoring in CML. dPCR offers an absolute BCR-ABL1 quantification at various disease levels with remarkable precision and a clinical sensitivity reaching down to at least MR5.0. Moreover, dPCR has been validated in multiple studies as prognostic marker for successful TKI treatment discontinuation, while this could not be achieved using classical qPCR. dPCR may thus prospectively be the preferred method to reliably identify patients achieving treatment milestones after initiation of TKI therapy as well as for the selection and timing for TKI discontinuation.

Udgave nummer6
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2020


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