Next Article in Journal
GJA4/Connexin 37 Mutations Correlate with Secondary Lymphedema Following Surgery in Breast Cancer Patients
Next Article in Special Issue
Role of Akt Isoforms Controlling Cancer Stem Cell Survival, Phenotype and Self-Renewal
Previous Article in Journal
Bryonolic Acid Blocks Cancer Cell Clonogenicity and Invasiveness through the Inhibition of Fatty Acid: Cholesteryl Ester Formation
Article Menu
Issue 1 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Biomedicines 2018, 6(1), 22;

Targeting Leukemia Stem Cells in the Bone Marrow Niche

Division of Oncology and Center for Childhood Cancer Research, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01069 Dresden, Germany
John van Geest Cancer Research Centre, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG11 8NS, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 January 2018 / Revised: 6 February 2018 / Accepted: 17 February 2018 / Published: 21 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cells and Cancer Therapeutics)
Full-Text   |   PDF [698 KB, uploaded 23 February 2018]   |  


The bone marrow (BM) niche encompasses multiple cells of mesenchymal and hematopoietic origin and represents a unique microenvironment that is poised to maintain hematopoietic stem cells. In addition to its role as a primary lymphoid organ through the support of lymphoid development, the BM hosts various mature lymphoid cell types, including naïve T cells, memory T cells and plasma cells, as well as mature myeloid elements such as monocyte/macrophages and neutrophils, all of which are crucially important to control leukemia initiation and progression. The BM niche provides an attractive milieu for tumor cell colonization given its ability to provide signals which accelerate tumor cell proliferation and facilitate tumor cell survival. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) share phenotypic and functional features with normal counterparts from the tissue of origin of the tumor and can self-renew, differentiate and initiate tumor formation. CSCs possess a distinct immunological profile compared with the bulk population of tumor cells and have evolved complex strategies to suppress immune responses through multiple mechanisms, including the release of soluble factors and the over-expression of molecules implicated in cancer immune evasion. This chapter discusses the latest advancements in understanding of the immunological BM niche and highlights current and future immunotherapeutic strategies to target leukemia CSCs and overcome therapeutic resistance in the clinic. View Full-Text
Keywords: leukemia stem cell; microenvironment; immune biomarker; immunotherapy; immune checkpoints; bone marrow; prognosis leukemia stem cell; microenvironment; immune biomarker; immunotherapy; immune checkpoints; bone marrow; prognosis

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Tasian, S.K.; Bornhäuser, M.; Rutella, S. Targeting Leukemia Stem Cells in the Bone Marrow Niche. Biomedicines 2018, 6, 22.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Biomedicines EISSN 2227-9059 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top