Acute Myeloid Leukemia Stem Cells: Origin, Characteristics, and Clinical Implications

Nathaniel A. Long, Upendarrao Golla, Arati Sharma, David F. Claxton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The stem cells of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are the malignancy initiating cells whose survival ultimately drives growth of these lethal diseases. Here we review leukemia stem cell (LSC) biology, particularly as it relates to the very heterogeneous nature of AML and to its high disease relapse rate. Leukemia ontogeny is presented, and the defining functional and phenotypic features of LSCs are explored. Surface and metabolic phenotypes of these cells are described, particularly those that allow distinction from features of normal hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Opportunities for use of this information for improving therapy for this challenging group of diseases is highlighted, and we explore the clinical needs which may be addressed by emerging LSC data. Finally, we discuss current gaps in the scientific understanding of LSCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1211-1226
Number of pages16
JournalStem Cell Reviews and Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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