Antibody Based Therapies in Acute Leukemia.

Despite great progress in the curative treatment of acute leukemia, outcomes for those with relapsed and/or chemotherapy-refractory disease remain poor. Current intensive cytotoxic therapies can be associated with significant morbidity and novel therapies are needed to improve outcomes. Immunotherapy based approaches provide an alternative mechanism of action in the treatment of acute leukemia. Due to cell surface antigen expression, leukemia in particular is amenable to targeted therapies, such as antibody-based therapy. Based on the potential for non-overlapping toxicity, the possibility of synergistic action with standard chemotherapy, and by providing a novel method to overcome chemotherapy resistance, antibody-based therapies have shown potential for benefit. Modifications to standard monoclonal antibodies, including drug conjugation and linkage to T-cells, may further enhance efficacy of antibody-based therapies. Identifying the ideal timing for incorporation of antibody-based therapies, within standard regimens, may lead to improvement in overall outcomes. This article will provide an overview of antibody-based therapies in clinical development for the treatment of acute leukemia in children and adults, with a particular focus on the current strategies and future developments.

Current drug targets. 2017 Jan [Epub]

Nirali N Shah

Pediatric Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Building 10, Room 1W-3750, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892-1104, 301-496-4256 Facsimile 301-451-7010, United States.