Autophagy is involved in many cellular processes, including cell homeostasis, cell death/survival balance and differentiation. Autophagy is essential for hematopoietic stem cell survival, quiescence, activation and differentiation. The deregulation of this process is associated with numerous hematological disorders and pathologies, including cancers. Thus, the use of autophagy modulators to induce or inhibit autophagy emerges as a potential therapeutic approach for treating these diseases and could be particularly interesting for differentiation therapy of leukemia cells. This review presents therapeutic strategies and pharmacological agents in the context of hematological disorders. The pros and cons of autophagy modulators in therapy will also be discussed.
Keywords: Autophagy; Cancer therapy; Hematopoietic differentiation; Inflammation; Leukemia.
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