Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the treatment of choice for many hematologic malignancies or inherited disorders. Ex vivo T-cell depletion (TCD) of the graft and post-transplantation immunosuppression efficiently prevent the development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). However, the consequence of these nonspecific approaches is a long-lasting immunodeficiency associated with increased disease relapse, graft rejection, and reactivation of viral infections. Donor lymphocyte infusion, to treat leukemic relapse after allogeneic HSCT, can cause severe GVHD. Several strategies are being optimized to specifically inactivate anti-host T cells while preserving antileukemic or antimicrobial immunocompetence, based on ex vivo or in vivo elimination of anti-host T cells or on the modulation of their anti-host activity.
Copyright 2002 by W.B. Saunders Company.