Update on the Biology of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms

  • Robert Kralovics
Part of the Hematologic Malignancies book series (HEMATOLOGIC)


Single cell origin of hematopoiesis is considered to be a hallmark of all myeloid malignancies. In hematological malignancies, the mutations initiating stem cell clonality can have various forms such as translocated chromosomes, chromosomes with deleted or amplified regions, or point mutations in single genes. Once a stem cell clone has been established, it expands and its progeny competes with healthy cells for “habitat” in the bone marrow microenvironment. As the clone expands, more mutagenesis occurs in the next generation of cells. Although vast majority of these newly acquired genomic mutations do not provide any benefit to the clone, some lesions may prove to be useful and provide a selective advantage. Therefore, selection is the main driving force that shapes the cancer genome in the given environment. Different tissues have different selective forces that evolve the cancer genome. In hematological malignancies, the stem cell clone of each patient takes on a unique evolutionary path even though the accompanying genetic defects are often recurrently detected when many myeloid cancer genomes are compared. The mutations acquired in the evolution of the myeloid cancer genome and their combined effects may have different influence on the differentiation dynamics of the hematopoietic progenitors. Some mutations reduce and others may increase the output of the terminally differentiated cells. Each clonal evolution has a certain phenotypic outcome often detectable by differential blood count and histopathologic evaluation of the bone marrow. The clinical classification of these different phenotypic outcomes provided the foundations for diagnosis in the past. Inclusion of the genetic defects that associate with certain clinical entity into the diagnosis has brought significant improvements in the diagnostic process. The developments in the field of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) in the past decade are an excellent example of this process.


TP53 Mutation Polycythemia Vera Essential Thrombocythemia Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Myeloid Malignancy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM) of the Austrian Academy of SciencesViennaAustria
  2. 2.Division of Hematology and Blood Coagulation, Department of Internal Medicine IMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria

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