Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is a well established technique utilized in the treatment of human leukemia. The concept of a 'graft versus leukemia (GVL) effect' has been proposed to describe an immunologic eradication of residual leukemia by the transplanted foreign immunocompetent cells provided within the bone marrow graft. This review summarizes experimental and clinical evidence that antitumor effects can be mediated by allogeneic lymphoid cells. At least four distinct experimental approaches have documented GVL reactions in animal models. Each of these suggests methods by which antitumor effects might be separated from graft versus host disease (GVHD) in the clinical setting. These methods have been approached using human lymphocytes in in vitro experimental systems to investigate immune reactivity to leukemic cells. Retrospective and prospective clinical studies have each substantiated an association of GVHD and GVL effects. These suggest a role for immune cells in preventing relapse following BMT. Further studies attempting to separate the antileukemic GVL effect from the toxicity of BMT and GVHD are needed. Current adoptive immunotherapy trials involving the transfer of activated allogeneic human lymphocytes represent a potential approach directed towards this goal.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Hematology Reviews and Communications|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1987|
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