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Br J Haematol. 2011 Mar;152(6):677-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2010.08525.x.

Recent advances in the pathogenesis and treatment of juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics and the Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Myeloid neoplasms derive from the pathological clonal expansion of an abnormal stem cell and span a diverse spectrum of phenotypes including acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Expansion of myeloid blasts with suppression of normal haematopoiesis is the hallmark of AML, whereas MPN is associated with over-proliferation of one or more lineages that retain the capacity to differentiate, and MDS is characterized by cytopenias and aberrant differentiation. MPD and MDS can progress to AML, which is likely due to the acquisition of cooperative mutations. Juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia (JMML) is an aggressive myeloid neoplasm of childhood that is clinically characterized by overproduction of monocytic cells that can infiltrate organs, including the spleen, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and lung. JMML is categorized as an overlap MPN/MDS by the World Health Organization and also shares some clinical and molecular features with chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia, a similar disease in adults. While the current standard of care for patients with JMML relies on allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT), relapse is the most frequent cause of treatment failure. This review outlines our understanding of the genetic underpinnings of JMML with a recent update on the discovery of novel CBL mutations, as well as a brief review on current therapeutic approaches.

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