Immunotherapeutic concepts to target acute myeloid leukemia: Focusing on the role of monoclonal antibodies, hypomethylating agents and the leukemic microenvironment

Academic Article


  • © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. Intensive chemotherapeutic protocols and allogeneic stem cell transplantation continue to represent the mainstay of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treatment. Although this approach leads to remissions in the majority of patients, long-term disease control remains unsatisfactory as mirrored by overall survival rates of approximately 30%. The reason for this poor outcome is, in part, due to various toxicities associated with traditional AML therapy and the limited ability of most patients to tolerate such treatment. More effective and less toxic therapies therefore represent an unmet need in the management of AML, a disease for which therapeutic progress has been traditionally slow when compared to other cancers. Several studies have shown that leukemic blasts elicit immune responses that could be exploited for the development of novel treatment concepts. To this end, early phase studies of immune-based therapies in AML have delivered encouraging results and demonstrated safety and feasibility. In this review, we discuss opportunities for immunotherapeutic interventions to enhance the potential to achieve a cure in AML, thereby focusing on the role of monoclonal antibodies, hypomethylating agents and the leukemic microenvironment.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gbolahan OB; Zeidan AM; Stahl M; Zaid MA; Farag S; Paczesny S; Konig H
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 8