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Front Immunol. 2017 Jun 7;8:496. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00496. eCollection 2017.

Graft-versus-Leukemia Effect Following Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Leukemia.

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Haematological Sciences, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
Third Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology and Cell Pathology, Charles University, Prague, Czechia.
Department for Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, University Hospital Augsburg, Munich, Germany.
Department for Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, Internal Medicine III, Hospital of the University of Munich, Munich, Germany.
Department of Hematology-Oncology Immunology Infectious Diseases, Klinikum München-Schwabing, Munich, Germany.


The success of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) lies with the ability of the engrafting immune system to remove residual leukemia cells via a graft-versus-leukemia effect (GvL), caused either spontaneously post-HSCT or via donor lymphocyte infusion. GvL effects can also be initiated by allogenic mismatched natural killer cells, antigen-specific T cells, and activated dendritic cells of leukemic origin. The history and further application of this GvL effect and the main mechanisms will be discussed and reviewed in this chapter.


LAA specific T cells; allogenic natural killer cells; animal models; donor lymphocyte infusion; graft-versus-leukemia effect; invariant natural killer T cells (i)NKT; leukaemia associated antigens (LAA); leukaemia derived dendritic cells; leukaemia specific antigens

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