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Molecular Pathology of Leukemia

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Molecular Surgical Pathology


Leukemias are a group of malignant neoplasms of hematopoietic stem cells caused by molecular alterations that disrupt cell differentiation and proliferation. Leukemias are classified by the lineage of origin as myeloid, lymphoid, or of ambiguous lineage. Leukemias can be further divided into acute leukemias, which are characterized by the rapid proliferation of immature hematopoietic cells, and chronic leukemias, involving more slowly progressing proliferations of mature leukocytes. The abnormal hematopoietic cells can accumulate in the bone marrow and blood and interfere with the growth of normal hematopoietic precursors leading to cytopenias including anemia, thrombocytopenia, and neutropenia. The neoplastic cells can also involve extramedullary sites such as soft tissue, bone, organs, and skin. Leukemias are common malignancies in all age groups, accounting for 3.2% of new cancer cases overall (28% in children, 13% in adolescents) and 3.9% of cancer deaths in the US. Treatment plans and prognosis are highly dependent on accurate diagnosis, incorporating morphology, immunophenotype, and cytogenetic and molecular findings.

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Correspondence to Devon S. Chabot-Richards .

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Kibler, C.E., Chabot-Richards, D.S. (2023). Molecular Pathology of Leukemia. In: Cheng, L., Netto, G.J., Eble, J.N. (eds) Molecular Surgical Pathology. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-35117-4

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