In recent years, great progress has been made in elucidating the progenitor-cell hierarchy of the myeloid lineage. Transcription factors have been shown to be key determinants in the orchestration of myeloid identity and differentiation fates. Most transcription factors show cell-lineage-restricted and stage-restricted expression patterns, indicating the requirement for tight regulation of their activities. Moreover, if dysregulated or mutated, these transcription factors cause the differentiation block observed in many myeloid leukaemias. Consequently, therapies designed to restore defective transcription factor functions are an attractive option in the treatment of myeloid and other human cancers.