Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow that affects white blood cells. These white blood cells are important to your immune system because they play a role in helping your body fight infection and disease. But when you have ALL, the bone marrow makes too many of these white blood cells and they do not work properly.1,2
Remission means that your body is free of signs and symptoms of cancer. Remission is a great achievement, but it does not always mean the cancer has been cured.1
Along with the news that your ALL is in remission, your doctor may have talked to you about testing for remaining traces of ALL. Or you may have already been tested but wonder what it’s all about.
Read on to learn more about testing for remaining traces of ALL.
Cancer can often hide from treatments, making it hard to get rid of all cancer cells. Even after reaching remission with chemotherapy, a relatively small number of cancer cells can remain in your body that cannot be detected by traditional testing. This is called minimal residual disease, or MRD.3
There are now very sensitive and reliable tests to detect MRD.3,4
Talk to your doctor about MRD. An MRD test may be right for you.
Testing for minimal residual disease, or MRD, tells your doctor if any of these hard-to-detect cancer cells are left in your body. Any remaining traces of detectable cancer (MRD) can possibly cause a relapse, which is the return of a disease or the signs and symptoms of a disease after a period of improvement. MRD-negative means there are no detectable traces of cancer left.1,3
There is a treatment available specifically for patients with remaining traces of detectable cancer (MRD). The goal of this treatment is to eliminate those cancer cells. Because of this, it is important to know your MRD status.4,5
People without MRD may live longer without disease than those with MRD.6 Ask your doctor about eliminating MRD!
What is the most important information I should know about BLINCYTO®?
Who should not receive BLINCYTO®?
What should I avoid while receiving BLINCYTO®?
Before receiving BLINCYTO®, tell your health care provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you or your child:
BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab) is a prescription medicine used to treat B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in patients who still have detectable traces of cancer after chemotherapy.
The approval of BLINCYTO® in these patients is based on a study that measured response rate and duration of response. There are ongoing studies to confirm clinical benefit.
References: 1. National Cancer Institute. NCI dictionary of cancer terms. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms. Accessed October 8, 2019. 2. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). https://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/acute-lymphoblastic-leukemia-all. Accessed October 8, 2019. 3. Brüggemann M, Gökbuget N, Kneba M. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia: monitoring minimal residual disease as a therapeutic principle. Semin Oncol. 2012;39:47-57. 4. BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab) prescribing information, Amgen. 5. Campana D. Minimal residual disease in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Semin Hematol. 2009;46:100-106. 6. Berry DA, Zhou S, Higley H, et al. Association of minimal residual disease with clinical outcome in pediatric and adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a meta-analysis. JAMA Oncol. 2017;3:e170580. 7. Food and Drug Administration. FDA expands approval of Blincyto for treatment of a type of leukemia in patients who have a certain risk factor for relapse. https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm603151.htm. Accessed October 7, 2019.