Dendritic cell vaccination as postremission treatment to prevent or delay relapse in acute myeloid leukemia

Sébastien Anguille, Ann L. Van De Velde, Evelien L. Smits, Viggo F. Van Tendeloo, Gunnar Juliusson, Nathalie Cools, Griet Nijs, Barbara Stein, Eva Lion, Ann Van Driessche, Irma Vandenbosch, Anke Verlinden, Alain P. Gadisseur, Wilfried A. Schroyens, Ludo Muylle, Katrien Vermeulen, Marie Berthe Maes, Kathleen Deiteren, Ronald Malfait, Emma GostickMartin Lammens, Marie M. Couttenye, Philippe Jorens, Herman Goossens, David A. Price, Kristin Ladell, Yoshihiro Oka, Fumihiro Fujiki, Yusuke Oji, Haruo Sugiyama, Zwi N. Berneman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Relapse is a major problem in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and adversely affects survival. In this phase 2 study, we investigated the effect of vaccination with dendritic cells (DCs) electroporated with Wilms’ tumor 1 (WT1) messenger RNA (mRNA) as postremission treatment in 30 patients with AML at very high risk of relapse. There was a demonstrable antileukemic response in 13 patients. Nine patients achieved molecular remission as demonstrated by normalization of WT1 transcript levels, 5 of which were sustained after a median follow-up of 109.4 months. Disease stabilization was achieved in 4 other patients. Five-year overall survival (OS) was higher in responders than in nonresponders (53.8% vs 25.0%; P 5 .01). In patients receiving DCs in first complete remission (CR1), there was a vaccine-induced relapse reduction rate of 25%, and 5-year relapse-free survival was higher in responders than in nonresponders (50% vs 7.7%; P < .0001). In patients age £65 and >65 years who received DCs in CR1, 5-year OS was 69.2% and 30.8% respectively, as compared with 51.7% and 18% in the Swedish Acute Leukemia Registry. Long-term clinical response was correlated with increased circulating frequencies of polyepitope WT1-specific CD81 T cells. Long-term OS was correlated with interferon-g1 and tumor necrosis factor-a1 WT1-specific responses in delayed-type hypersensitivity-infiltrating CD81 T lymphocytes. In conclusion, vaccination of patients with AML with WT1 mRNA-electroporated DCs can be an effective strategy to prevent or delay relapse after standard chemotherapy, translating into improved OS rates, which are correlated with the induction of WT1-specific CD81 T-cell response. This trial was registered at as #NCT00965224.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1713-1721
    Number of pages9
    Issue number15
    Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 12

    Subject classification (UKÄ)

    • Hematology
    • Cancer and Oncology


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