Progress in Hematology Leukemia Stem Cell

International Journal of Hematology

, Volume 98, Issue 6, pp 641-647

First online:

Stem cell maintenance and disease progression in chronic myeloid leukemia

  • Takahiro ItoAffiliated withDepartment of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, University of GeorgiaDepartment of Pharmacology, University of California San Diego School of Medicine Email author 


Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a cancer of blood cells driven by the BCR–ABL1 oncogenic protein tyrosine kinase, which is the product of a reciprocal chromosomal translocation known as the Philadelphia chromosome. Discovery of tyrosine kinase inhibitors targeting the BCR–ABL1 kinase revolutionized CML therapy, but these drugs are unable to eradicate the disease due to the presence of a drug-insensitive stem cell population that sustains continued growth of the malignant cells. Resistance to therapies also increases the risk of relapse and disease progression to a more advanced phase. This review discusses emerging issues in CML research, and describes recent progress in elucidating the mechanisms of CML stem cell maintenance and disease progression.


Chronic myeloid leukemia Stem cell Cancer progression Blast crisis