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Acute Myeloid Leukemia Evolving from Myeloproliferative Neoplasms: Many Sides of a Challenging Disease.

The evolution to blast phase is a frequently unpredictable and almost invariably fatal event in the course of myeloproliferative neoplasms. The molecular mechanisms underlying blast transformation have not been elucidated and the specific genetic and epigenetic events governing leukemogenesis remain unclear. The result of the long-lasting dynamics, passing through progressive genetic steps, is the emergence of one or more clones often characterized by complex genetics, either at conventional karyotyping or at modern high-throughput sequencing analyses, with all clinical and prognostic correlates. The current therapeutic approaches are largely inadequate and incapable of modifying the inherent unfavorable outcome. In this perspective, the application of targeted strategies should aim to prevent the occurrence of leukemic evolution. At transformation, the crucial target of treatment should be the allocation to allogeneic transplant for eligible patients. With this in mind, novel combination treatments may provide useful bridging strategies, beyond potentially improving outcomes for patients who are not candidates for intensive approaches.

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