I have not posted messages for a while. But I did read postings on a regular basis. I have been busy moving from Ohio to San Francisco Bay area. I am now pretty much settled.
I went to see a Hematologist in Stanford Cancer Center. On my first visit in August, it seems that he ordered two PCR tests, one qualitative and one quantitative. I don't know whether this is a standard procedure or not. Here are the results of the two tests.
BCR - ABL, BLOOD - Details
No BCR-ABL transcripts detected by RT-PCR.
BCR-ABL is the molecular equivalent of t(9;22).
PCR amplification of reverse-transcribed RNA
Major breakpoint (CML) and minor breakpoint (ALL)
BCR - ABL QUANTITATIVE, BLOOD - Details
Quantitative transcript level determination and minimal residual
disease monitoring in CML/ALL.
Test cancel and credit. See qualitative BCRABL result instead.
log dx avg
>3 log reduction
BCR-ABL mRNA transcripts are detected by a one step real-time RT-PCR.
A control gene (ABL) is amplified as an internal standard. Each
sample is amplified in duplicate for both the target (BCR-ABL) and
control (ABL). Quantification is determined from known calibration
standards provided by Ipsogen. This assay has a sensitivity
equivalent to 10e-4 dilution of a known BCR-ABL positive cell line.
I have not got a chance to discuss it with the doctor face to face yet. But the nurse told me that if the first test is negative, then the second test is usually cancelled since the results would also be negative.
I have not heard anybody on this board have this style of PCR tests. Is this pretty unusual? How good is the qualitative test? And what is the cutoff point for "negative" in qualitative PCR test? Should I insist next time (in about a month) that I would like to have a quantitative PCR test?