I'm trying to understand the oncogenesis of CML. I have a question about CFC cells and blast cells. Are those the same? I know that in the chronic phase of CML there is a blast percentage of 1-10% of blast cells in the blood. Considering that the total amount of WBC is around 1x10–11 cells/l. That means the blast cells should be around the same order of magnitude. Looking on research articles I found that the amount of CFC (which contains according to my understanding all of the blast cells) are only 1x10–8 cells/l. Thus comprising around 0.1% of the blood count.

What cells can be considered as blasts? Only the myeloblasts? Are all blast cells CFC cells? I also know that the average value of CFC cells in the bone marrow is around 10–5 cells, so how can they be 10–9 cells?

Reference: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9922073/

  • $\begingroup$ Not to be rude, but are you sure you read the article? Figure 1 describes the CFU ontology and defines CFC as experimentally-determined CFUs. Table 2 describes the relative number of each CFU per 10$^5$ marrow cells. Those numbers are much closer to your 0.1% figure than the 1-10% value expected during chronic-phase CML. Re: your final question, leukemia is pretty much defined by immature cells leaving the marrow, which would elevate the PB levels. Ta-da! $\endgroup$ – Punintended Oct 1 '20 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ I did read the article, but I'm learning about leukemia to make inter-disciplinary research, it's not my field of expertise. I am pretty confused about the percentages. If the CFC build up <1% of the cells in the bone marrow and immature blast cells are contained within the CFC compartment, how can they be present at 10% in PB? The only possible solution for me is: The 10% blast cells compromises not only the CFC but other types of cells. Which other types of cells? It seems that every article assumes a definition of blast cells I just don't find anywhere. Thank you for your help. $\endgroup$ – Mario Pérez Oct 1 '20 at 18:29

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