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PCR question

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#1 knoppl


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Posted 04 April 2012 - 03:51 PM

Hi everyone, I am sort of confused. I was diagnosed in Jan 2010 and have had a good response to Gleevec. I still have my PCR done every 3 months and for the last year it has been 0.001 and then it went to 0.002 and the hematologist said the scale has changed a bit so the result is still the lowest it can go. I am in Canada but think the PCR measurement is the same. Just got my current one back and it is 0.001. I asked the nurse if it can possibly go to 0.000 and she said no. I am thinking that 0.000 is PRCU. So I am now doubting everything the doctor and the fellows have said to me or the nurse is reading something wrong. I stopped asking for a copy of the results a while ago and regret this. My next appointment is in June and will start asking for the reccords again. I am wondering if I am interpreting this correctly as I thought I was PCRU but now don't think I am , happy that I am really close though. So does an actual indetectable PCR read 0.000?

#2 Trey


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Posted 04 April 2012 - 08:11 PM

A bit too much vagueness from the Hem-Onc and nurse.  They likely don't know.  Some labs set a limit past which they do not report the result, and yours may be .001 (but is it a percentage or ratio -- that makes a big difference; I assume it is percentage if it is the "lowest it can go"). 

A PCR of .001 and .002 are essentially equal results, and no PCR is sensitive enough to know the diffference between the two.  If the results are percentages, and on International Scale (assume this is what the Onc meant) then it is 5 log reduction, which many labs declare as PCRU.  Some labs at that point just say "BCR-ABL detected but below limits of quantification".  Others say the result is something crazy like .00009789, which is useless since PCRs are not that accurate.  At least your lab is generally honest about the PCR result. 

If this is indeed a 5 log reduction, then you are more PCRU than some others who declare that they are based on a 4 log cut-off PCR. 

#3 GerryL


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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:14 AM

My second last PCR result said something like BCR-ABL was positive for Qualitative results and <.002 for Quantitative. My last one said BCR-ABL was negative for Qualitative results.

#4 Susan61


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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:48 PM

Hi:  I do not know how these scales work etc.  Thats why I leave all the explanations up to Trey. I just know that I was not told I was PCRU until I got a 0.000 reading which has been the same every 6 months now for 9 years.

Like I said I can only tell you what  I know.  I hope you get the explanation  of what they are telling you for you to understand it all.

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