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Emergence of heterogeneity in acute leukemias

Stiehl, Thomas ; Lutz, Christoph ; Marciniak-Czochra, Anna

In: Biology Direct, 11 (2016), Nr. 51. pp. 1-19. ISSN 1745-6150

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Background: Leukemias are malignant proliferative disorders of the blood forming system. Sequencing studies demonstrate that the leukemic cell population consists of multiple clones. The genetic relationship between the different clones, referred to as the clonal hierarchy, shows high interindividual variability. So far, the source of this heterogeneity and its clinical relevance remain unknown. We propose a mathematical model to study the emergence and evolution of clonal heterogeneity in acute leukemias. The model allows linking properties of leukemic clones in terms of self-renewal and proliferation rates to the structure of the clonal hierarchy. Results: Computer simulations imply that the self-renewal potential of the first emerging leukemic clone has a major impact on the total number of leukemic clones and on the structure of their hierarchy. With increasing depth of the clonal hierarchy the self-renewal of leukemic clones increases, whereas the proliferation rates do not change significantly. The emergence of deep clonal hierarchies is a complex process that is facilitated by a cooperativity of different mutations. Conclusion: Comparison of patient data and simulation results suggests that the self-renewal of leukemic clones increases with the emergence of clonal heterogeneity. The structure of the clonal hierarchy may serve as a marker for patient prognosis. Reviewers: This article was reviewed by Marek Kimmel, Tommaso Lorenzi and Tomasz Lipniacki.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Biology Direct
Volume: 11
Number: 51
Publisher: BioMed Central
Place of Publication: London
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2016 11:31
Date: 2016
ISSN: 1745-6150
Page Range: pp. 1-19
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science > Department of Applied Mathematics
Service facilities > Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing
Service facilities > Bioquant
Medizinische Fakultät Heidelberg > Medizinische Universitäts-Klinik und Poliklinik
Subjects: 510 Mathematics
610 Medical sciences Medicine
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