The advent of new immunotherapeutic agents in clinical practice has revolutionized cancer treatment in the past decade, both in oncology and hematology. The transfer of the immunotherapeutic concepts to the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is hampered by various characteristics of the disease, including non-leukemia-restricted target antigen expression profile, low endogenous immune responses, and intrinsic resistance mechanisms of the leukemic blasts against immune responses. However, considerable progress has been made in this field in the past few years.Within this manuscript, we review the recent developments and the current status of the five currently most prominent immunotherapeutic concepts: (1) antibody-drug conjugates, (2) T cell-recruiting antibody constructs, (3) chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, (4) checkpoint inhibitors, and (5) dendritic cell vaccination. We focus on the clinical data that has been published so far, both for newly diagnosed and refractory/relapsed AML, but omitting immunotherapeutic concepts in conjunction with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Besides, we have included important clinical trials that are currently running or have recently been completed but are still lacking full publication of their results.While each of the concepts has its particular merits and inherent problems, the field of immunotherapy of AML seems to have taken some significant steps forward. Results of currently running trials will reveal the direction of further development including approaches combining two or more of these concepts.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published