Authors: Yasukawa, Masaki (Ehime University School of Medicine, Ehime, Japan)
Abstract: Recent findings from basic researches and clinical observations have revealed that the effectiveness of chemotherapy against leukemia is limited and the immunosurveillance system is important to achieve cure of hematological malignancies. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) undoubtedly play an important role in resistance to cancers, including various types of hematopoietic malignancy. To develop effective cellular immunotherapy of hematopoietic malignancy, the tumor-associated antigens that are recognized by CTL must be identified. Recently, various leukaemia-associated antigens that are recognized by CTL in the context of HLA class I molecules have been identified. These include fusion gene products such as BCR-ABL and ETV6-AML1, proteinase 3, Wilms' tumour gene product (WT1), human telomerase reverse transcriptase, cyclophilin B, and PRAME. In addition, various target antigens associated with other hematopoietic malignancies have been also identified. On the basis of these findings, various clinical trials of immunotherapy against hematological malignancies, including peptide vaccination, DC therapy, adoptive transfer of CTL have been ongoing. Here, the current status and future feasibility of cellular immunotherapy against hematological malignancies are discussed.