Clonal Architecture and Evolutionary Dynamics in Acute Myeloid Leukemias

Matthieu Duchmann, Lucie Laplane, Raphael Itzykson
2021 Cancers  
Acute myeloid leukemias (AML) results from the accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations, often in the context of an aging hematopoietic environment. The development of high-throughput sequencing—and more recently, of single-cell technologies—has shed light on the intratumoral diversity of leukemic cells. Taking AML as a model disease, we review the multiple sources of genetic, epigenetic, and functional heterogeneity of leukemic cells and discuss the definition of a leukemic clone
more » ... nding its definition beyond genetics. After introducing the two dimensions contributing to clonal diversity, namely, richness (number of leukemic clones) and evenness (distribution of clone sizes), we discuss the mechanisms at the origin of clonal emergence (mutation rate, number of generations, and effective size of the leukemic population) and the causes of clonal dynamics. We discuss the possible role of neutral drift, but also of cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic influences on clonal fitness. After reviewing available data on the prognostic role of genetic and epigenetic diversity of leukemic cells on patients' outcome, we discuss how a better understanding of AML as an evolutionary process could lead to the design of novel therapeutic strategies in this disease.
doi:10.3390/cancers13194887 pmid:34638371 fatcat:yqqt7ixix5edrfkj64wjeujdca