Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Leukemia Stem Cells

  • Marina Konopleva
  • Lina Han
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_7164-3



Leukemia stem cells (LSCs) are the progenitors (or precursors) of all malignant blood cell lineages. They were first described less than 20 years ago in mouse xenograft models of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The LSCs are characterized by extensive self-renewal and limited capacity to differentiate into committed progenies that are termed leukemic blasts. As the precursors of all malignant hematopoiesis, they parallel normal hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). LSCs initiate and sustain leukemia, and residual LSCs after therapy cause relapse of the disease. Targeting LSCs has implications for eradication of leukemia.


Surface Phenotype of LSCs

LSCs were initially characterized by Dick and co-workers, who demonstrated that the CD34+CD38bone marrow or blood cell fraction was highly enriched with an abnormal cell type that has an immunophenotypic profile similar to that of normal HSCs. These cells...


Acute Myeloid Leukemia Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patient Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cell Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin 
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See Also

  1. (2009) Hypoxia-inducible Factor-1α (HIF-1α). In: Binder MD, Hirokawa N, Windhorst U (eds) Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, p 1903. doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-29678-2_2330Google Scholar
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  3. (2012) In Vitro. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of Cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, p 1839. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_3023Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Leukemia and Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular TherapyThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Leukemia, Section of Molecular Hematology and TherapyThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA