Clinical evaluation of cellular immunotherapy in acute myeloid leukaemia

Evelien L. J. Smits, Cindy Lee, Nicola Hardwick, Suzanne Brooks, Viggo F. I. Van Tendeloo, Kim Orchard, Barbara-ann Guinn

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Immunotherapy is currently under active investigation as an adjuvant therapy to improve the overall survival of patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) by eliminating residual leukaemic cells following standard therapy. The graft-versus-leukaemia effect observed following allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation has already demonstrated the significant role of immune cells in controlling AML, paving the way to further exploitation of this effect in optimized immunotherapy protocols. In this review, we discuss the current state of cellular immunotherapy as adjuvant therapy for AML, with a particular focus on new strategies and recently published results of preclinical and clinical studies. Therapeutic vaccines that are being tested in AML include whole tumour cells as an autologous source of multiple leukaemia-associated antigens (LAA) and autologous dendritic cells loaded with LAA as effective antigen-presenting cells. Furthermore, adoptive transfer of cytotoxic T cells or natural killer cells is under active investigation. Results from phase I and II trials are promising and support further investigation into the potential of cellular immunotherapeutic strategies to prevent or fight relapse in AML patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757 - 769
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


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