Immune recovery after cyclophosphamide treatment in multiple myeloma: implication for maintenance immunotherapy

Bone Marrow Res. 2011;2011:269519. doi: 10.1155/2011/269519. Epub 2011 Apr 6.


Multiple myeloma (MM) is a progressive B-lineage neoplasia characterized by clonal proliferation of malignant plasma cells. Increased numbers of regulatory T cells (Tregs) were determined in mouse models and in patients with MM, which correlated with disease burden. Thus, it became rational to target Tregs for treating MM. The effects of common chemotherapeutic drugs on Tregs are reviewed with a focus on cyclophosphamide (CYC). Studies indicated that selective depletion of Tregs may be accomplished following the administration of a low-dose CYC. We report that continuous nonfrequent administrations of CYC at low doses block the renewal of Tregs in MM-affected mice and enable the restoration of an efficient immune response against the tumor cells, thereby leading to prolonged survival and prevention of disease recurrence. Hence, distinctive time-schedule injections of low-dose CYC are beneficial for breaking immune tolerance against MM tumor cells.