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To be PCRU or not to be PCRU?

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#1 janekaye


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Posted 21 May 2011 - 10:33 AM

After receiving my results from my local oncologist (BCR-ABL = 0.000) I told everyone I would follow up with my results from the molecular lab at MD Anderson in Houston where I also see Dr. Cortes.  That number (blood draws approximately one week apart) showed a BCR-ABL of 0.06.  Of course he said that was very good, and I couldn't agree more  -  I'm very excited about the low numbers.

But I think there's a lesson here for all of us not to get too caught up in the numbers in and of themselves - I think ever since I've been on these boards, Trey has cautioned that trends are more important than anything, and that certainly makes sense.

An interesting note:  Because of a fluke in scheduling, I actually had four PCR tests within about 6-8 weeks time.  Results were 0.09, 0.912, 0.000, and 0.06. 

The note that Dr. Cortes sent back had a copy of the test comments and one of them was this:  "This ratio may vary up to one-log because of methodological reasons." 

At any rate, just sharing a different perspective on the numbers associated with our disease.  I feel good most of the time and I'm thrilled with the low counts.  I hope the same for all of us on a continuing basis!

Have a good weekend!


#2 Tedsey


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Posted 21 May 2011 - 06:56 PM

Thanks for your post and the info.  It really helps to understand what the numbers really mean and the limits of the test.  1 log seems to be a large margin of error.

So happy to hear you are doing so well!


#3 Trey


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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:24 PM

Everyone should note your statement: "I actually had four PCR tests within about 6-8 weeks time.  Results were 0.09, 0.912, 0.000, and 0.06."

I will say again that even though the PCR test results are often stated as precisely as .XXXXX, they are not that accurate.  Trends are the important thing.  Two PCR tests on the same exact vial of blood would yield different results (unless genuinely PCRU).

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