Why Is a Bone Marrow Biopsy Necessary?

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Topics include: Treatment and Understanding

Why is a bone marrow biopsy necessary to perform in CLL patients? Experts Dr. John Burke and Dr. William Wierda explain the reasoning behind this test and its role in identifying prognostic factors and evaluating treatment efficacy.

This program was made possible by Pharmacyclics LLC and Janssen Biotech, Inc. Produced in partnership with Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers

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Transcript

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Jeff Folloder:

Why do we need to do a bone marrow biopsy in a couple of words? Dr. Burke?

Dr. Burke:            

So we do them in different diseases and CLL. I generally do them before treatment, we do testing on the cells for gene mutation and other information that carries prognostic implications. 

And then I’ll typically do one toward the end of treatment to assess how well the patient has responded to the treatment. So that’s typically went on to bone marrow biopsies in my CLL patients. We also do them in other lymphomas for other reasons.

Jeff Folloder:     

And, Dr. Wierda, is there any way to get this information other than drilling a hole in our heads? 

Dr. Wierda:          

So some of the information we can get from the blood software talking about these prognostic factors that everybody’s interested in making the same information from the letters we get from the bone marrow. We do a lot of bone marrow, said Anderson, they’re necessary for us to assess what’s happening in the marrow in patients who are particularly on the nickel trial, because it’s a good way to assess how well the treatment is working.

It’s also the way we assess when patients are having other problems that may not be directly from their CLL. That may be caused by other things, autoimmune problems, etc., so we do a lot of bone marrows. There are appropriate times to do them.

We don’t have to do them for everything, particularly the prognostic factors. But we do use them frequently in assessing for patients on clinical trial and then also assessing for other problems patients have low platelet count or low hemoglobin or meeting to look at the marrow, see what’s happening.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

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Page last updated on June 30, 2017