In patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) circulating lymphoma cells (CLC) can be detected by quantitative real-time PCR with a high sensitivity and reproducibility. Sustained molecular remission is associated with a significantly longer relapse-free survival whereas evidence of PCR detectable MRD was associated with recurrent disease in several studies. Furthermore, we and other reported long-term remission in some FL patients being persistently PCR positive. However, molecular monitoring to guide therapy and to predict clinical relapses is not routinely performed or integrated in clinical studies. Between 1996 and 2006 a long-term molecular monitoring of CLC was done in all FL patients with a PCR-detectable t(14;18) translocation. CLC numbers were determined by a standardized quantitative real-time PCR for the detection of lymphoma cell specific t(14;18) rearrangement [
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