Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

The bone marrow microenvironment as a mediator of chemoresistance in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a malignancy of immature lymphoid cells that arises due to clonal expansion of cells that undergo developmental arrest and acquisition of pathogenic mutations. With the introduction of intensive multi-agent chemotherapeutic regimens, survival rates for ALL have improved dramatically over the past several decades, though survival rates for adult ALL continue to lag behind those of pediatric ALL. Resistance to chemotherapy remains a significant obstacle in the treatment of ALL, and chemoresistance due to molecular alterations within ALL cells have been described. In addition to these cell-intrinsic factors, the bone marrow microenvironment has more recently been appreciated as a cell-extrinsic mediator of chemoresistance, and it is now known that stromal cells within the bone marrow microenvironment, through direct cell-cell interactions and through the release of lymphoid-acting soluble factors, contribute to ALL pathogenesis and chemoresistance. This review discusses mechanisms of chemoresistance mediated by factors within the bone marrow microenvironment and highlights novel therapeutic strategies that have been investigated to overcome chemoresistance in this context.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View