RESEARCH ARTICLE


The Immunological Dilemma: Cellular Innate and Adaptive Immune Response Versus Human Acute Myeloid Leukemia



Elisabeth Ersvaer*, 1, Astrid M. Olsnes1, Øystein Bruserud1, 2
1 Institute of Medicine, University of Bergen and
2 Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway


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© 2008 Ersvaer et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Elisabeth Ersvær, Section for Haematology, Institute of Medicine, University of Bergen, N-5021 Bergen, Norway; Tel: +47 55 97 30 76; Fax: +47 55 97 29 50; E-mail: elisabeth.ersvar@med.uib.no


Abstract

It is generally accepted that acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) patients are immunocompromized. On the other hand, antileukemic immune reactivity is important for the improved survival of AML patients treated with allogeneic stem cell transplantation and antileukemic immunotherapy is also considered for patients treated with conventional chemotherapy. In this article, we review the available studies of disease- and therapy- induced immune dysfunctions in AML patients, including the function of the cellular innate and adaptive immune system of AML patients (i) with newly diagnosed disease before treatment, (ii) immunological functions of AML patients with severe therapy induced cytopenia before hematopoietic reconstitution; and (iii) the immune reconstitution following the initial period of hematopoietic reconstitution after autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplantation. A more detailed knowledge about the immune systems of these patients is essential for an optimal design of future clinical immunotherapy studies in AML.

Keywords: Acute myelogenous leukemia, Immune system, Chemotherapy.