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37

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Version 1.2017

4

Cancer treatments

Targeted therapy

Treatment response

A

treatment response

is an outcome or

improvement caused by treatment. Doctors

first check for a treatment response at the

end of induction therapy. To check how well

treatment worked, your doctor will test a

sample of blood and bone marrow with a

microscope.

The goal of ALL treatment is to result in a

complete remission. Even with a complete

remission, there may still be a small

number of leukemia cells left in the body

that can’t be seen with a microscope. This

is called

MRD

(

m

inimal

r

esidual

d

isease).

Once ALL is in complete remission, very

sensitive tests are used to check for MRD.

After a complete remission, more treatment

is needed to kill every last leukemia cell

and keep them from coming back. This is

called

postremission therapy

.

A

relapse

is when ALL comes back after

a complete remission. Sometimes the

leukemia cells don’t respond to induction

therapy. ALL that is not in complete

remission after induction is called

refractory ALL

.

A complete remission is when:

ü

No leukemia cells are seen in your bone

marrow with a microscope.

ü

No more than 5 out of 100 cells in your

bone marrow are blast cells.

ü

No blast cells are in your bloodstream.

ü

All blood cell counts are back to normal.

ü

All signs and symptoms of ALL are gone.