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MRD Glossary

In science and medicine, information is constantly changing and may become out-of-date as new data emerge. All articles and interviews are informational only, should never be considered medical advice, and should never be acted on without review with your health care team.

Testing for MRD or minimal or measurable residual disease is an increasing important measurement, not only in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), but in several other blood cancers. 

The CLL Society worked with a broad coalition of other stakeholders in the MRD TESTING COLLABORATIVE to produce a glossary of terms for those new to MRD (minimal or measurable residual disease). The COLLABORATIVE offers several patient friendly MRD related resources.

You can read the glossary we produced together below and download it as a PDF here.

We stated in the glossary, undetectable MRD means: “A test result that indicates that no residual cancer cells were detected in the body after treatment; that the cancer was undetectable”. 

That, however, does not necessarily mean that the cancer was eradicated. It could be below the level of detection or be hiding in another unassessed body compartment such as deep inside a lymph node.