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Clin Dev Immunol. 2011;2011:104926. doi: 10.1155/2011/104926. Epub 2011 Oct 19.

Recent advance in antigen-specific immunotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia.

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Department of Hematology and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.


Relapse after chemotherapy is inevitable in the majority of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Thus, it is necessary to develop novel therapies that have different antileukemic mechanisms. Recent advances in immunology and identification of promising leukemia-associated antigens open the possibilities for eradicating minimal residual diseases by antigen-specific immunotherapy after chemotherapy. Several methods have been pursued as immunotherapies for AML: peptide vaccines, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor-secreting tumor vaccines, dendritic cell vaccines, and adoptive T cell therapy. Whereas immunogenicity and clinical outcomes are improving in these trials, severe adverse events were observed in highly avid engineered T cell therapies, indicating the importance of the balance between effectiveness and side effects in advanced immunotherapy. Such progress in inducing antitumor immune responses, together with strategies to attenuate immunosuppressive factors, will establish immunotherapy as an important armament to combat AML.

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