Introduction: A systematic review was performed to assess the prognostic value of Measurable Residual Disease (MRD) during treatment, for relapse and overall survival in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML).Areas covered: A systematic search of available literature was performed to identify original full-text articles concerning MRD as prognostic for relapse and survival in pediatric AML. Thirteen studies were included, and in all studies, MRD positivity during treatment was associated with worse clinical outcome. MRD positivity was significantly associated with a higher probability of relapse in eleven studies. However, MRD negativity does not exclude the possibility of relapse in pediatric AML, while positivity early during therapy does not exclude cure.Expert opinion: MRD positivity during treatment has emerged as the most powerful prognostic factor in pediatric AML concerning relapse and overall survival and is useful for risk-group adapted treatment. Future studies should identify the optimal time-point(s) for MRD measurements and the optimal technique, to further improve its prognostic significance.
Keywords: Acute myeloid leukemia; childhood leukemia; measurable residual disease; pediatric; systematic review.