Revealing the molecular mechanism of central nervous system leukemia with single-cell technology

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2020 Sep:153:103046. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2020.103046. Epub 2020 Jun 30.


Central nervous system leukemia (CNSL) is a severe complication of acute leukemia, with serious consequences for life quality and expectancy. The molecular mechanism of CNSL is unclear at present. Thus, determining appropriate prevention and therapeutic strategies for CNSL remain challenging. Currently, inferences regarding gene functions are based on the measurement of average gene expression in a bulk lysate. However, leukemia cells are a heterogeneous population in which the expression of critical genes may be masked by many unrelated genes. Single-cell sequencing may therefore be the best way to explore the development of CNSL in the bone marrow and peripheral blood at diagnosis and subsequent time points, in order to detect potential targets and prevent the development of CNSL. In this review, we first discuss the possible mechanism of CNSL, then describe the heterogeneity of leukemia cells. Finally, we focus on the role of single-cell technology in preventing and treating CNSL.

Keywords: Central nervous system leukemia; Mechanism; Single-Cell technology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute*