Tuesday, July 29, 2014

HLA-haploidentical transplantation with regulatory and conventional T-cell adoptive immunotherapy prevents acute leukemia relapse

Posttransplant relapse is still the major cause of treatment failure in high-risk acute leukemia. Attempts to manipulate alloreactive T cells to spare normal cells while killing leukemic cells have been unsuccessful. In HLA-haploidentical transplantation, we reported that donor-derived T regulatory cells (Tregs), coinfused with conventional T cells (Tcons), protected recipients against graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). The present phase 2 study investigated whether Treg-Tcon adoptive immunotherapy prevents posttransplant leukemia relapse. Forty-three adults with high-risk acute leukemia (acute myeloid leukemia 33; acute lymphoblastic leukemia 10) were conditioned with a total body irradiation–based regimen. Grafts included CD34+ cells (mean 9.7 x 10^6/kg), Tregs (mean 2.5 x 10^6/kg), and Tcons (mean 1.1 x 10^6/kg). No posttransplant immunosuppression was given. Ninety-five percent of patients achieved full-donor type engraftment and 15% developed ≥grade 2 acute GVHD. The probability of disease-free survival was 0.56 at a median follow-up of 46 months. The very low cumulative incidence of relapse (0.05) was significantly better than in historical controls. These results demonstrate the immunosuppressive potential of Tregs can be used to suppress GVHD without loss of the benefits of graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) activity. Humanized murine models provided insights into the mechanisms underlying separation of GVL from GVHD, suggesting the GVL effect is due to largely unopposed Tcon alloantigen recognition in bone marrow (read more) Print this post

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