Dr. Emerson Explains the Connection Between Stem Cell Mutations and Leukemia
Stephen G. Emerson, MD, PhD, Clyde Wu Professor of Immunology and Medicine, director, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, explains the connection between stem cell mutations and leukemia.
Emerson says that over the past 10 years it’s been discovered that every time a bone marrow stem cell divides, it acquires a mutation that’s not fixed. Based on this knowledge, researchers now know that patients are more likely to get leukemia in adulthood because mutations accumulate every time the stem cell divides. If two mutations develop in the “wrong spot” and become active and synergized, the patient will get mild dysplasia or leukemia.