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ASH 2015: Dr. Rick Furman Discusses the New Prognostic Factors and MRD Negativity in CLL

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There has been an explosion of understanding about prognostic markers for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), with the increased ability to look beyond just the chromosomes and to start looking at the genes themselves.

Dr. Rick Furman of Weill Cornell carefully explains some of the nuances of genomic testing in CLL during our interview at ASH 2015.

Take Away Points:

  • The genetic problems seen in CLL are only seen in the CLL cells themselves and not in other blood or body cells.
  • FISH looks at the gross chromosome level, but only for specific abnormalities. It may miss other abnormalities that are examined with the probes
  • Next generation sequencing looks at the finer gene level such as SF3B1 and Notch 1
  • Don’t get too crazy about all the testing
  • MRD negativity needs to be looked at in a different way in the era of new therapies.

Please enjoy Dr. Furman. You might want to listen to this a few times as we cover a lot of helpful ground on understanding the more advanced CLL testing.

Brian Koffman, MD  7/18/16