Frontiers in bioscience (Elite edition)

Hematopoietic modulators as potential agents for the treatment of leukemia.

PMID 23276976


Leukemias are the most common malignancy of childhood and have the highest mortality among aging people. Leukemias are a group of blood disorders characterized by an accumulation of leukemic cells in the peripheral blood of patients as a result of disturbances in proliferation and differentiation. Refractory leukemia remains the most common therapeutic challenge. In recent years, the presence of a cancer stem cell population in leukemias has been proposed as a cause for the refractory phenomenon. Insights into the cellular and molecular features of leukemia led to a new point of view in the choice of novel therapeutic agents. New agents for the treatment of this disease should selectively target leukemia stem cells or exhibit higher cytotoxic effects in cancer cells than in normal cells. A special interest is focused on anticancer agents from biological and natural sources that can be used in the treatment of leukemia. This review discusses the characteristics of some of these potential new agents.