Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has been established as the most common acute leukemia in children, accounting for 80–85% of cases. ALL occurs mostly in children and it is considered as a high-risk disease in the elderlies. ALL is characterized by a clonal disorder where the normal hematopoiesis is replaced by a malignant clonal expansion of lymphoid progenitors. Although many therapeutic strategies have been established to treat ALL leading to improved survival rates, the short-term and long-term complications derived from treatment toxicity represent a critical risk for patients. The treatment-related toxicity suggests a need for the development of new therapy strategies to effectively treat high-risk and low-risk disease. Nowadays, an important approach is focused on the identification of molecules involved in the mechanisms that lead to leukemia generation and progression to determine potential targets at the transcriptional level. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of key molecules that regulate signaling pathways related to lymphopoiesis. miRNAs participate in the regulation of hematopoietic differentiation and proliferation, as well as their activity. The present review details the recompilation of evidences about the relation between miRNAs and lymphopoiesis, ALL development and progression in order to propose and explore novel strategies to modulate ALL-related miRNA levels as a therapeutic approach.
Part of the book: Acute Leukemias
Defeating cancer as leukemia has been an up and down challenge. However, leukemia must be treated from the roots. Nowadays, the CRISPR-Cas9 system provided scientists the ability to manipulate the genetic information to correct mutations, rewrite genetic code, or edit immune cells for immunotherapy purposes. Additionally, such system is used for basic and clinical approaches in leukemia therapy. Lymphoid cancers including acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) can be treated by performing gene editing or enhancing immune system through CART cells. Here, we present and detail therapeutic applications of the CRISPR/Cas9 system for immune cell therapy, and knock-out or knock-in of main genes promoting leukemogenesis or ALL progression. We also described current and future challenges, and optimization for the application of CRISPR/Cas9 system to treat lymphoid malignancies.
Part of the book: Leukemia