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Review
. 2009;(188):319-48.
doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-71029-5_15.

Dendritic Cell-Based Immunotherapy in Myeloid Leukaemia: Translating Fundamental Mechanisms Into Clinical Applications

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Review

Dendritic Cell-Based Immunotherapy in Myeloid Leukaemia: Translating Fundamental Mechanisms Into Clinical Applications

A A van de Loosdrecht et al. Handb Exp Pharmacol. .

Abstract

Immunotherapy for leukaemia patients, aiming at the generation of anti-leukaemic T cell responses, could provide a new therapeutic approach to eliminate minimal residual disease (MRD) cells in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Leukaemic blasts harbour several ways to escape the immune system including deficient MHC class II expression, low levels of co-stimulatory molecules and suppressive cytokines. Therapeutic vaccination with dendritic cells (DC) is now recognized as an important investigational therapy. Due to their unique antigen presenting capacity, immunosuppressive features of the leukaemic blasts can be circumvented. DC can be successfully cultured from leukaemic blasts in 60-70% of patients and show functional potential in vivo. Alternatively, monocyte derived DC obtained at time of complete remission loaded with leukaemia-specific antigens can be used as vaccine. Several sources of leukaemia-associated antigen and different methods of loading antigen onto DC have been used in an attempt to optimize antitumour responses including apoptotic cells, necrotic cell lysates and tumour-associated pep-tides. Currently, the AML-derived cell line MUTZ-3, an immortalized equivalent of CD34(+) DC precursor cells, is under investigation for vaccination purposes. For effective DC vaccination the intrinsic tolerant state of the patient must be overcome. Therefore, the development of efficient and safe adjuvants in antigen specific immunotherapeutic programs should be encouraged.

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