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Nat Rev Cancer. 2003 Feb;3(2):89-101.

Disruption of differentiation in human cancer: AML shows the way.

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Harvard Institutes of Medicine, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Although much is understood about the ways in which transcription factors regulate various differentiation systems, and one of the hallmarks of many human cancers is a lack of cellular differentiation, relatively few reports have linked these two processes. Recent studies of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), however, have indicated how disruption of transcription-factor function can disrupt normal cellular differentiation and lead to cancer. This model involves lineage-specific transcription factors, which are involved in normal haematopoietic differentiation. These factors are often targeted in AML--either by direct mutation or by interference from translocation proteins. Uncovering these underlying pathways will improve the diagnosis and treatment of AML, and provide a working model for other types of human cancer, including solid tumours.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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