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Semin Oncol. 2008 Aug;35(4):336-45. doi: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2008.04.004.

Deregulation of signaling pathways in acute myeloid leukemia.

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1
Division of Hematology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

In acute myeloid leukemia (AML), aberrant signal transduction enhances the survival and proliferation of hematopoietic progenitor cells. Activation of signal transduction in AML may occur through a variety of genetic alterations affecting different signaling molecules, such as the FLT3 and KIT receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and members of the RAS family of guanine nucleotide-binding proteins. These mutant signaling proteins are attractive therapeutic targets; however, developing targeted therapies for each genotypic variant and determining the relationships between different genotypes and critical functional dependencies of the leukemic cells remain major challenges. As the large number of mutant signaling proteins that have been identified in AML are likely to reflect activation of a more limited number of downstream effector pathways, such as the RAF/MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT cascades, targeting these unifying pathways may represent a more broadly applicable therapeutic strategy. Furthermore, integrative genomic studies combining DNA sequencing, DNA copy number analysis, transcriptional profiling, and functional genetic approaches hold great promise for identifying additional signaling abnormalities in AML that are relevant to leukemogenesis and can be exploited therapeutically. Eventually, it may become possible to use pathogenesis-oriented combinations of signal transduction inhibitors to improve the cure rate in AML patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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