Two Leukemia Questions and Answers

I wrote in to the CML group and asked what a CCR is (it had been mentioned previously). I also asked if everyone still had night sweats during treatment or if they went away.

These were the answers:

CCR stands for complete cytogenetic response.

This is when they do a bone marrow biopsy and there are NO ph+ (cml)cells in the sample, but the sample is usually only 20 cells because this is a time consuming test (they have to actually look via microscope at dividing cells to see the chromosomes).

This is the original test and considered the gold standard. It is the same everywhere. And there should be NO errors in the test.

But looking at 20 cells is not a very sensitive test. FISH is a test that will look at 200 cells to see if any are ph+ (this is the symbol for the Philadelphia chromosome that is found in 95% of cml patients).

The pcr test looks at 100,000 cells or more

So as you respond to your medication, you need ever more sensitive tests to see how much leukemia cells you still have and to follow your progress.

PCRU is the PCR test with an 'undetected' result, meaning in 100,000 cells or more they did not detect a cml cells.......BUT this never means that you do not have any cml cells at all.

You usually only have night sweats when the disease is not controlled yet....for most people they resolve, but some still have them occasionally or even regularly.

The picture is of Pescadero Beach near the light house

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