Reactive oxygen species in eradicating acute myeloid leukemic stem cells

Hui Zhang, Hai Fang, Kankan Wang


Leukemic stem cells (LSCs) have been proven to drive leukemia initiation, progression and relapse, and are increasingly being used as a critical target for therapeutic intervention. As an essential feature in LSCs, reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis has been extensively exploited in the past decade for targeting LSCs in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Most, if not all, agents that show therapeutic benefits are able to alter redox status by inducing ROS, which confers selectivity in eradicating AML stem cells but sparing normal counterparts. In this review, we provide the comprehensive update of ROS-generating agents in the context of their impacts on our understanding of the pathogenesis of AML and its therapy. We anticipate that further characterizing these ROS agents will help us combat against AML in the coming era of LSC-targeting strategy.