Scientists Successfully Transplant Human Leukemia Cells into Mice

While studying the progression of healthy cells into cancerous ones, researchers discover a way to engraft human blood cells into animals.

Diana Kwon
Diana Kwon
Mar 31, 2017

TRANSFORMATIONS: An artistic representation of cancer progression in a cell, from normal to a leukemic state (from left to right)LEWIS LONG


The paper
A.G. Kotini et al., “Stage-specific human induced pluripotent stem cells map the progression of myeloid transformation to transplantable leukemia,” Cell Stem Cell, 20:315-28.e7, 2017.

Cancer continuum
In recent years, cancer researchers have discovered that myeloid malignancies lie on a continuum of increasing severity, starting as precancerous mutations in blood cell precursors, then progressing to bone marrow disorders, and, finally, developing into acute myeloid leukemia.

Eirini Papapetrou of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and colleagues followed disease progression by reprogramming cells from patients with various stages of myeloid malignancies, including premalignant cells, into pluripotent stem cells in their precancerous state. Then, by differentiating them back into blood cells, the team established cell lines representing specific stages of disease. “What...