Substantial progress has been made in the treatment of leukemia in childhood. Despite this, leukemia remains a leading cause of pediatric cancer-related mortality and the prognosis is guarded for individuals with relapsed or refractory disease. Standard therapies are associated with a wide array of acute and long-term toxicities and further treatment intensification may not be tolerable or beneficial. The curative potential of allogeneic stem cell transplantation is due in part to the graft-versus-leukemia effect, which provides evidence for the therapeutic capacity of immune-based therapies. In recent years there have been significant advances in the development and application of immunotherapy in the treatment of leukemias, including the demonstration of activity in chemotherapy-resistant cases. This review summarizes immunotherapeutic approaches in the treatment of pediatric leukemia including current results and future directions.
Keywords: pediatric leukemia, immunotherapy, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, application of immunotherapy, adoptive cell therapy, monoclonal antibodies, hematologic malignancies
Citation: Shah NN, Dave H and Wayne AS (2013) Immunotherapy for pediatric leukemia. Front. Oncol. 3:166. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2013.00166
Received: 19 February 2013; Paper pending published: 08 March 2013;
Accepted: 10 June 2013; Published online: 01 July 2013.
Edited by:Crystal Mackall, National Cancer Institute, USA
Reviewed by:Scott C. Borinstein, Vanderbilt University, USA
Copyright: © 2013 Shah, Dave and Wayne. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.
*Correspondence: Alan S. Wayne, Pediatric Oncology Branch, Hematologic Diseases Section, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Building 10, Room 1W-3750, 9000 Rockville Pike, MSC-1104, Bethesda, MD 20892-1104, USA e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org