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The 10 most important things to remember about CML Testing

It's easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of technical information about blood testing which we need to learn to gain the most benefit from the results.

Fact 1

Your oncologist or haematologist is a trained professional and should be comfortable with discussing your lab results with you, in boring detail if necessary.

Fact 2

Being aware of sample collection and the method used to generate your results is part of being an informed patient.

Fact 3

Because q-PCR testing is so sensitive, it is normal for percentages of BCR-ABL1 to fluctuate a little over time.

Fact 4

A “log drop” means BCR-ABL1 transcripts have reduced by 10 fold from a standardised baseline of 100%I.S. at diagnosis.

Fact 5

MMR is a 3-log (1000-fold) reduction in BCR-ABL1 transcripts.

Fact 6

Achievement of MMR (0.1%I.S.) within 12 months is, according to ELNet recommendations and NCCN guidelines (2013), an optimal response with very low risk of progression.

Fact 7

There is significant variability among laboratories using different assays and test platforms.

Fact 8

Q-PCR testing for BCR-ABL1 transcripts should be performed by the same laboratory or referred to a specialist laboratory that follows universal reporting criteria.

Fact 9

Results from several tests that show a trend of rising or falling levels of BCR-ABL1 transcripts is more important than one single test result.

Fact 10

Samples of both blood and bone marrow are often evaluated at diagnosis, but the majority of follow-up monitoring is performed on peripheral blood samples.

Last modified: 
21 September 2015