Immune landscapes predict chemotherapy resistance and immunotherapy response in acute myeloid leukemia

Sci Transl Med. 2020 Jun 3;12(546):eaaz0463. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaz0463.


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a molecularly and clinically heterogeneous hematological malignancy. Although immunotherapy may be an attractive modality to exploit in patients with AML, the ability to predict the groups of patients and the types of cancer that will respond to immune targeting remains limited. This study dissected the complexity of the immune architecture of AML at high resolution and assessed its influence on therapeutic response. Using 442 primary bone marrow samples from three independent cohorts of children and adults with AML, we defined immune-infiltrated and immune-depleted disease classes and revealed critical differences in immune gene expression across age groups and molecular disease subtypes. Interferon (IFN)-γ-related mRNA profiles were predictive for both chemotherapy resistance and response of primary refractory/relapsed AML to flotetuzumab immunotherapy. Our compendium of microenvironmental gene and protein profiles provides insights into the immuno-biology of AML and could inform the delivery of personalized immunotherapies to IFN-γ-dominant AML subtypes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bispecific* / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / drug therapy


  • Antibodies, Bispecific
  • Antineoplastic Agents