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Children with constitutional trisomy 21 (Down syndrome (DS)) have a unique predisposition to develop myeloid leukaemia of Down syndrome (ML-DS). This disorder is preceded by a transient neonatal preleukaemic syndrome, transient abnormal myelopoiesis (TAM). TAM and ML-DS are caused by co-operation between trisomy 21, which itself perturbs fetal haematopoiesis and acquired mutations in the key haematopoietic transcription factor gene GATA1. These mutations are found in almost one third of DS neonates and are frequently clinically and haematologcially 'silent'. While the majority of cases of TAM undergo spontaneous remission, ∼10 % will progress to ML-DS by acquiring transforming mutations in additional oncogenes. Recent advances in the unique biological, cytogenetic and molecular characteristics of TAM and ML-DS are reviewed here.


Journal article


Current hematologic malignancy reports

Publication Date





333 - 341


Children's Hospital, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, OX3 9DU, UK.