, Volume 54, Issue 10, pp 933-943
Date: 12 May 2005

Targeted immunotherapy in acute myeloblastic leukemia: from animals to humans

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Immunity against acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is demonstrated in humans by the graft-versus-leukemia effect in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Specific leukemic antigens have progressively been discovered and circulating specific T lymphocytes against Wilms tumor antigen, proteinase peptide or fusion-proteins produced from aberrant oncogenic chromosomal translocations have been detected in leukemic patients. However, due to the fact that leukemic blasts develop various escape mechanisms, antileukemic specific immunity is not able to control leukemic cell proliferation. The aim of immunotherapy is to overcome tolerance and boost immunity to elicit an efficient immune response against leukemia. We review different immunotherapy strategies tested in preclinical animal models of AML and the human trials that spurred from encouraging results obtained in animal models, demonstrate the feasibility of immunotherapy in AML patients.