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Blood. 2009 Apr 30;113(18):4449-57. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-11-190827. Epub 2009 Jan 30.

Depletion of CD4 T cells enhances immunotherapy for neuroblastoma after syngeneic HSCT but compromises development of antitumor immune memory.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology-Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.


High-risk neuroblastoma remains a clinically challenging disease. Here, we report that a multifaceted immunotherapeutic approach including syngeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), adoptive transfer of sensitized T cells (from syngeneic donors vaccinated to tumor antigens), and early posttransplantation tumor vaccination can effectively treat mice with established neuroblastoma. Vaccination was an important component of this immunotherapy, as it resulted in enhanced and prolonged tumor-specific CD8 T-cell activity and improved antitumor efficacy. Surprisingly, CD4 cell depletion of mice given sensitized T cells resulted in better tumor-free survival, which was associated with an early increased expansion of CD8 T cells with an effector phenotype, increased numbers of tumor-reactive CD8 T cells, and increased tumor infiltration by CD8 T cells. However, in the absence of CD4 T cells, development of long-term tumor immunity (memory) was severely compromised as reflected by diminished CD8 T-cell recall responses and an inability to resist tumor rechallenge in vivo. Based on these results, a major challenge with this immunotherapeutic approach is how to obtain the ideal initial antitumor response but still preserve antitumor immune memory. These data suggest that identification and selective depletion of immune inhibitory CD4 T cells may be a strategy to enhance early antitumor immunity and induce a long-lasting tumor response after HSCT.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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