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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Adoptive transfer of T cells transduced with a chimeric antigen receptor to treat relapsed or refractory acute leukemia: efficacy and feasibility of immunotherapy approaches

Guoliang Ding, Hu Chen
Science China. Life Sciences 2016, 59 (7): 673-7
27142351
Treatment outcomes of acute leukemia (AL) have not improved over the past several decades and relapse rates remain high despite the availability of aggressive therapies. Conventional relapsed leukemia treatment includes second allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) and donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI), which in most cases mediate, at best, a modest graft-versus-leukemia effect, although their clinical efficacy is still limited. Although allo-HSCT following myeloablative conditioning is a curative treatment option for younger patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in a first complete remission (CR), allo-HSCT as a clinical treatment is usually limited because of treatment-related toxicity. The overall DLI remission rate is only 15%-42% and 2-year overall survival (OS) is approximately 15%-20%, with a high (40%-60%) incidence of DLI-related graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Therefore, development of new, targeted treatment strategies for relapsed and refractory AL patients is ongoing. Adoptive transfer of T cells with genetically engineered chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) is an encouraging approach for treating hematological malignancies. These T cells are capable of selectively recognizing tumor-associated antigens and may overcome many limitations of conventional therapies, inducing remission in patients with chemotherapy-refractory or relapsed AL. In this review, we aimed to highlight the current understanding of this promising treatment modality, discussing its adverse effects and efficacy.

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