The present and future of measurable residual disease testing in acute myeloid leukemia

Haematologica. 2022 Dec 1;107(12):2810-2822. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2022.282034.


Considerable progress has been made in the past several years in the scientific understanding of, and available treatments for, acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Achievement of a conventional remission, evaluated cytomorphologically via small bone marrow samples, is a necessary but not sufficient step toward cure. It is increasingly appreciated that molecular or immunophenotypic methods to identify and quantify measurable residual disease (MRD) - populations of leukemia cells below the cytomorphological detection limit - provide refined information on the quality of response to treatment and prediction of the risk of AML recurrence and leukemia-related deaths. The principles and practices surrounding MRD remain incompletely determined however and the genetic and immunophenotypic heterogeneity of AML may prevent a one-sizefits- all approach. Here, we review the current approaches to MRD testing in AML, discuss strengths and limitations, highlight recent technological advances that may improve such testing, and summarize ongoing initiatives to generate the clinical evidence needed to advance the use of MRD testing in patients with AML.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / diagnosis
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / genetics
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / therapy
  • Neoplasm, Residual / diagnosis