Leukaemic stem cells: Drug resistance, metastasis and therapeutic implications

Faculty of Medicine, SEGi University, No. 9, Jalan Tecknologi, Taman Sains Selangor, Kota Damansara, PJU 5, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
The Malaysian journal of pathology 12/2012; 34(2):77-88.
Source: PubMed


Although there have been many new developments in the treatment of leukaemia with the use of new anti-leukaemic agents and stem cell transplantation, drug resistance and treatment failure remain a great challenge for the attending physician. Several studies have suggested that leukaemic stem cells (LSCs) play a pivotal role in chemoresistance and metastasis and the mechanisms by which these cells do so have also been elucidated. There is increasing evidence to show that there exists a large pool of therapeutic targets in LSCs and that the eradication of these cells is feasible with some promising results. This article gives an overview of different types of cancer stem cells (CSCs) derived from various types of leukaemia, the mechanisms by which LSCs contribute to drug resistance and metastasis and some recent advances in targeted therapy against LSCs.

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