Monitoring Treatment

Application of molecular methods to monitoring treatment response has become routine in the management of patients with acute leukemia. While such approaches are enticing for solid tumors, little data are yet available. In prostate cancer patients receiving androgen-deprivation treatment, a decreased incidence of circulating cells has been reported.36 In a small study of breast cancer patients, those patients on chemotherapy or hormonal therapy with clinically evident metastasis showed a significantly lower incidence of circulating cells than patients not on treat-ment.15 Similar results were observed for lung cancer.46 RT-PCR has been used to monitor interferon response in melanoma patients.43 Further studies are warranted.

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