METHODOLOGY: Cytokines and transcription factors in haematopoiesis and leukaemic mechanisms are described. Genetic features and clinical implications due to the encoded chimeric neoproteins causing malignant haematopoietic disorders are reviewed.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Multiple translocation partner genes are well known for leukaemia such as MYC, MLL, RARA, ALK, and RUNX1. With the advent of more sophisticated diagnostic tools and bioinformatics algorithms, an exponential growth in fusion genes discoveries is likely to increase.
CONCLUSION: Demonstration of fusion genes and their specific translocation breakpoints in malignant haematological disorders are crucial for understanding the molecular pathogenesis and clinical phenotype of cancer, determining prognostic indexes and therapeutic responses, and monitoring residual disease and relapse status.