December 5th, 2001

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)


A technique to expand trace amounts of DNA or RNA so that the specific type of the DNA or RNA can be determined. This technique has become useful in detecting a very low concentration of residual leukemia cells, too few to be seen using a microscope. The technique can detect the presence of one leukemia cell among five hundred thousand to one million non-leukemic cells. PCR requires a specific DNA (or RNA) abnormally or marker, like an oncogene, in the leukemic or lymphomatous cells for its use

Tags: Cancer Dictionary, P, Uncategorized