Although inflammation has long been recognized as a hallmark of many cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), how it affects individual cells of the tumor microenvironment and their interaction with normal and neoplastic cells is incompletely understood. A comprehensive single-cell transcriptomic analysis of human bone marrow from patients with AML and healthy individuals identified skewing of stem cell and stromal cell populations in AML toward proinflammatory states associated with reduced risk of relapse, paralleling previous findings in mouse models and suggesting that inflamed bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells might be a double-edged sword in AML by hampering normal hematopoiesis (while AML cells appear comparatively more resilient) but also rendering AML cells more susceptible to chemotherapy or immune attack.

See related article by Chen et al., p. 394 (7).

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