Chemosensitivity of In Vitro Colony Forming Units as a Predictor of Response to Antileukemic Drugs

  • John J. Hutton
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 26)


Leukemia is a clonal disease secondary to malignant transformation of one or more normal hematopoietic stem cells. These leukemic stem cells are capable of proliferation and self renewal. They give rise to one or more dominant clones of cells that eventually fill the bone marrow and suppress normal hematopoiesis in the patient. At this time clinical disease becomes apparent with signs and symptoms of marrow failure. The population of blasts in acute leukemia contains cells capable of colony formation in culture [1–6]. These cells are called leukemic colony forming units, L-CFU. If the colonies are harvested from culture and replated, some also contain cells capable of forming colonies so that proliferation of stem cells capable of self renewal can be demonstrated. There is substantial evidence that L-CFU which replicate extensively in vitro and form large colonies are identical or closely related to the leukemic stem cell responsible for maintenance of the leukemic clone in the patient [7, 8].


Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Sensitivity Index Acute Myelogenous Leukemia Cytosine Arabinoside Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia 
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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Boston 1985

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  • John J. Hutton

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