The bone marrow microenvironment plays a critical role in the development, progression, and relapse of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Similar to normal hematopoietic stem cells, AML blasts express receptors on their surface, allowing them to interact with specific components of the marrow microenvironment. These interactions contribute to both chemotherapy resistance and disease relapse. Preclinical studies and early phase clinical trials have demonstrated the potential for targeting the tumor-microenvironment interactions in AML. Agents currently under investigation include hypoxia-inducible agents and inhibitors of CXCR4 and adhesion molecules such as VLA-4 and E-selectin.
- Stem cells