Copyright ©2009 Baishideng. All rights reserved
World J Stem Cells. Dec 31, 2009; 1(1): 49-54
Published online Dec 31, 2009. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v1.i1.49
Targeting leukemia stem cells: The new goal of therapy in adult acute myeloid leukemia
Xavier Thomas
Xavier Thomas, Department of Hematology, Edouard Herriot Hospital, Hospices Civils de Lyon, 69437 Lyon cedex 03, France
Author contributions: Thomas X solely contributed to this paper.
Correspondence to: Xavier Thomas, MD, PhD, Department of Hematology, Edouard Herriot Hospital, 69437 Lyon cedex 03, France.
Telephone: +33-472-117395 Fax: +33-472-117404
Received: July 2, 2009
Revised: August 20, 2009
Accepted: August 27, 2009
Published online: December 31, 2009

The most popular view of hematopoietic cell lineage organization is that of complex reactive or adaptative systems. Leukemia contains a subpopulation of cells that display characteristics of stem cells. These cells maintain tumor growth. The properties of leukemia stem cells indicate that current conventional chemotherapy, directed against the bulk of the tumor, will not be effective. Leukemia stem cells are quiescent and do not respond to cell cycle-specific cytotoxic agents used to treat leukemia and thus contribute to treatment failure. New strategies are required that specifically target this malignant stem cell population.

Keywords: Acute myeloid leukemia, Leukemia stem cells, Targeted therapy, Prognosis