What Clonal Hematopoiesis Can Teach Us About MDS

Irenaeus C.C. Chan, Brian J. Wiley, Kelly L. Bolton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Clonal hematopoiesis (CH), defined as the clonal expansion of mutated hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), is a common aging process. CH is a risk factor for the development of hematologic malignancies, most commonly myeloid neoplasms (MNs) including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN). Recent work has elucidated how the development and cellular fitness of CH is shaped by aging, environmental exposures, and the germline (inherited) genetic background of an individual. This in turn has provided valuable insights into the pathogenesis of MNs including MDS. Here, in this review, we discuss the genetic origins of CH, the environmental stressors that influence CH, and the implications of CH on health outcomes including MDS. Since MNs have shared risk factors and underlying biology, most of our discussion regarding the implications of CH surrounds MN in general rather than focusing specifically on MDS. We conclude with future directions and areas of investigation including how intervention studies of CH might inform future therapeutic approaches to MN including MDS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number794021
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
StatePublished - Feb 8 2022


  • clonal hematopoiesis (CH)
  • environmental risk
  • genetic predisposition
  • myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
  • myeloid neoplasm


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