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Leukemia. 2010 Nov;24(11):1823-33. doi: 10.1038/leu.2010.159. Epub 2010 Sep 23.

Insights into the stem cells of chronic myeloid leukemia.

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Terry Fox Laboratory, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) has long served as a paradigm for generating new insights into the cellular origin, pathogenesis and improved approaches to treating many types of human cancer. Early studies of the cellular phenotypes and genotypes represented in leukemic populations obtained from CML patients established the concept of an evolving clonal disorder originating in and initially sustained by a rare, multipotent, self-maintaining hematopoietic stem cell (HSC). More recent investigations continue to support this model, while also revealing new insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms that explain how knowledge of CML stem cells and their early differentiating progeny can predict the differing and variable features of chronic phase and blast crisis. In particular, these emphasize the need for new agents that effectively and specifically target CML stem cells to produce non-toxic, but curative therapies that do not require lifelong treatments.

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