A new approach to the evolution of the blastic crisis from chronic myelocytic leukemia: dynamic interplay of cellular alterations and a changing microenvironment.

Z. Grossman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The mechanisms responsible for the massive hyperplasia and for the blastic crisis in chronic myelocytic leukemia are poorly understood. The most generally accepted hypothesis proposes that this progression is due to the development of genetic instability in the leukemic cells. In particular, the two phases of the disease are believed to reflect different, discrete genetic events. Such events remain undefined as yet, and the causal significance of observed genetic aberrations is not clear. An alternative hypothesis is presented here. It is assumed that the feedback interactions adjust the relative probabilities of maturation and replication of the 'committed' as well as the pluripotent cells, and further that mitotic cells at all stages possess considerable phenotypic adaptability; in particular their self-renewal capacity can vary in response to changes in the cellular composition of the tissue even within a conventionally defined compartment. On this basis, it is shown that chronic leukemia can arise and evolve into the blastic crisis from a progressive decline in a single clonal characteristic--inducibility to maturation. It is shown, with the help of mathematical considerations, how an initial hereditable event in an early hemopoietic cell can cause a disturbance of the tissue which feeds back onto the individual members of the clone, resulting in a cascade of dynamic changes which can lead to blast cell dominance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-677
Number of pages7
JournalEMBO Journal
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1986

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