Translational Biomedicine

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Modeling The Bone Marrow Microenvironment's Influence on Leukemic Disease

Evans R, Martin KH, Moses BS, Slone WL, Hare I, Piktel D, Thomas P, Gibson LF

The bone marrow microenvironment serves as both the site of initiation of the majority of hematopoietic malignancies and also contributes to maintenance of minimal residual disease by promoting biologically relevant changes in tumor cells. These functional alterations of leukemic cells include, but are not limited to modulation of cell cycle, regulation of anti-apoptotic signaling cascades, and influence on metabolic activity. Of clinical relevance, these pathways impact on therapeutic response, making it critical to have robust in vitro systems to interrogate tumor cell interactions with stromal elements of the microenvironment to screen chemotherapeutic agents and inform the in vivo model design.