Front. Oncol., 21 April 2014 |

Antibody therapy for pediatric leukemia

  • 1Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, NSW, Australia
  • 2School of Women and Children’s Health, University of New South Wales, Randwick, NSW, Australia

Despite increasing cure rates for pediatric leukemia, relapsed disease still carries a poor prognosis with significant morbidity and mortality. Novel targeted therapies are currently being investigated in an attempt to reduce adverse events and improve survival outcomes. Antibody therapies represent a form of targeted therapy that offers a new treatment paradigm. Monoclonal antibodies are active in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and are currently in Phase III trials. Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are the next generation of antibodies where a highly potent cytotoxic agent is bound to an antibody by a linker, resulting in selective targeting of leukemia cells. ADCs are currently being tested in clinical trials for pediatric acute myeloid leukemia and ALL. Bispecific T cell engager (BiTE) antibodies are a construct whereby each antibody contains two binding sites, with one designed to engage the patient’s own immune system and the other to target malignant cells. BiTE antibodies show great promise as a novel and effective therapy for childhood leukemia. This review will outline recent developments in targeted agents for pediatric leukemia including monoclonal antibodies, ADCs, and BiTE antibodies.

Keywords: antibodies, monoclonal, bispecific antibodies, conjugated antibodies, childhood leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia

Citation: Vedi A and Ziegler DS (2014) Antibody therapy for pediatric leukemia. Front. Oncol. 4:82. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2014.00082

Received: 07 February 2014; Accepted: 04 April 2014;
Published online: 21 April 2014.

Edited by:

Alan Wayne, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, USA

Reviewed by:

Alan Wayne, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, USA
Hema Dave, Children’s National Medical Center, USA
Rimas J. Orentas, National Institutes of Health, USA

Copyright: © 2014 Vedi and Ziegler. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: David S. Ziegler, Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital, High Street, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia e-mail: