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Cancer Cell. 2006 Oct;10(4):253-4.

Searching for leukemia stem cells--not yet the end of the road?

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  • 1James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.


Defining the characteristics of leukemia stem cells is critical in order to better understand both the genesis of leukemic disease and strategies by which such cells may be eradicated. In this issue of Cancer Cell, Somervaille and Cleary describe studies in which the properties of malignant stem cells are elucidated in a mouse model of leukemia induced by expression of the MLL-AF9 translocation. Biological features of leukemia stem cells in this system challenge previous thinking in several ways and suggest an unexpected degree of heterogeneity among stem cells in various forms of leukemia.

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