© 2015 Elsevier Inc.. Studying mechanisms of malignant transformation of human pre-B cells, we found that acute activation ofoncogenes induced immediate cell death in the vast majority of cells. Few surviving pre-B cell clones had acquired permissiveness to oncogenic signaling by strong activation of negative feedback regulation ofErk signaling. Studying negative feedback regulation of Erk in genetic experiments at three different levels,we found that Spry2, Dusp6, and Etv5 were essential for oncogenic transformation in mouse modelsfor pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Interestingly, a small molecule inhibitor of DUSP6 selectively induced cell death in patient-derived pre-B ALL cells and overcame conventional mechanisms of drug-resistance. Shojaee etal. show that successful transformation of pre-B cells to pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) requires negative feedback regulation of Erk signaling and inhibiting this feedback selectively kills pre-B ALL cells, suggesting negative feedback regulation of oncogenes as a vulnerability in human ALL.