You have referred a 6-year-old white girl to hematology/oncology for evaluation of bone pain, hepatosplenomegaly, and leukocytosis (white cell count of 20,000/μL with 80% blasts), and her diagnosis has been confirmed as acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She has received induction chemotherapy for 28 days, after which time her bone marrow analysis reveals the presence of 1% blasts, indicating the presence of minimal residual disease. Her mother has called and is concerned about her chances of relapse and survival, given these results.

Your PubMed search has identified an article by Borowitz et al (1) from 2008, entitled “Clinical significance of minimal residual disease in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia and its relationship to other prognostic factors: a Children's Oncology Group study.”

Performing a survival analysis allows you to investigate factors that contribute to an outcome over time. Survival analysis can answer questions such as: What proportion of patients will survive past...

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