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Bull Cancer. 2012 Jun;99(6):635-42. doi: 10.1684/bdc.2012.1587.

[Dendritic cell-based therapeutic vaccination for acute myeloid leukemia].

[Article in French]

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Université d'Anvers/University of Antwerp, laboratoire d'hématologie expérimentale, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Anvers, Belgique.


The long-term outlook for adult patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains dismal. The main reason for this state of affairs lies in the fact that the majority of AML patients will eventually relapse, even after obtaining complete remission following front-line chemotherapy. Relapses are generally attributed to the persistence of a small number of chemotherapy-resistant leukemic (stem) cells, a condition known as minimal residual disease (MRD). The eradication of MRD, with the eventual aim of reducing the risk of relapse, therefore represents a high-priority goal of modern AML therapy. It is now well established that the immune system plays a crucial role in the defense against AML. This knowledge has fuelled the development of immune-based approaches to control MRD and, ultimately, to prevent relapse. One of the promising strategies that have emerged in this regard involves the use of dendritic cells for therapeutic vaccination. This review article aims to introduce the reader into the conceptual and practical aspects of DC-based vaccination for AML. Next, we will review the first clinical results obtained with this immunotherapeutic approach in AML patients. Finally, we will briefly reflect on the potential place of DC vaccination in the future therapy of AML.

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