Sunday, January 26, 2014

Definitions of response acronyms to cancer treatment

  • Complete Response (CR): This means all detectable tumor has disappeared.   If you have advanced cancer a CR is also the best result you can actually see from treatment.  To find out, you have to research your cancer and the treatment in question. (E.g., my dad's brain tumour was surgically removed, but they could not remove all of it, since it was too close to brain cells. It cam back in 5 years, but this was a CR.
  • NED means "No Evidence of Disease". A patient who has had a complete response may be said to be "NED".
  • Partial Response (PR): This would be at least a 50% decrease in the total tumor volume but with evidence of some residual disease still remaining. Partial responses aren't usually cures and aren't usually a long term benefit.  
  • Minor Response (MR): "Minor response" roughly means a small amount of shrinkage. Minor response is not really a standard term but is increasingly used. Roughly speaking, a minor response is more than 25% of total tumor volume but less than the 50% that would make it a PR. 
  • Progressive Disease (PD): The appearance of new tumors is always progressive disease, no matter the response of other tumors. Progressive disease normally means the treatment has failed and in most cases is the signal that it's time to try something else (or stop treatment altogether if no good options remain). 

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